A rare quake has been widely felt in Auckland this afternoon.
The quake measured 3.9 and was just 6km deep - GeoNet says
the intensity was therefore "moderate".
It was felt as a sharp jolt to many with Blues captain Ali
Williams tweeting "That was an earthquake. Yes in Auckland"
and Comedian Rhys Darby tweeted "Yip, just felt an earthquake
Fire Service spokesman Jaron Phillips said the northern
communications centre fielded calls about the quake from
"We've had quite a few calls actually. No actual damage
reported, it's really just people after a bit of advice,
confirming whether it was an earthquake, a little bit of
panic,'' he said.
"We're just out of the city in Grey Lynn, and it certainly
rocked the building here.''
Mr Phillips said the earthquake had triggered an alarm at a
rest home in Howick, but no damage was reported.
He urged people not to clog up emergency lines if they did
not need to, but they could call if they had damage to report
or needed assistance.
GNS duty seismologist Caroline Holden says many people would
have felt the tremors due to their shallow depth, and
closeness to the city.
"In the past 10 years I think I've only seen one or two
earthquakes with magnitude 4s and above so it's pretty
The quake was centred on Motutapu Island, next to the
volcanic island of Rangitoto.
Around 5 minutes earlier at 4pm another quake also was felt
by some, measuring 3.7 it had light intensity was centred to
the west of Great Barrier Island at 40kms deep.
Auckland Civil Defence said that these small earthquakes are
not unusual for Auckland, a similar swarm occurred over an
evening in February 2007.
Many Aucklanders said they barley felt the first earthquake,
but the second quake was much stronger.
Readers who emailed the Herald described it as being like a
large truck going past, a gust of wind or a truck colliding
with the house.
Bev Hooper of Stanmore Bay said she though the first quake
was "a bit odd'' but the second quake came as a bigger jolt.
"It felt like a truck had hit the side of the house. Just a
Paremoremo resident Catherine Casey said she and her husband
heard a "massive rumble'' about 4.05pm.
"My husband thought it was a gust of wind but we had no wind.
I said I think it was an earthquake ... I am deaf in one ear
but it was loud and I felt the vibration. I thought it was a
A resident of Rothesay Bay on the North Shore said the second
quake lasted from 30 second to half a minute.
The walls of her lounge moved, shifting a painting, and the
cups in front of her rattled loudly.
The earthquake was a first for Glenfield resident Maree
Lawson, who has lived on the North Shore her whole life.
"Never experienced anything like that. I was watching a DVD
on my bed, then the bed starts shaking like someone was
underneath it ... very freaky.''
Sunnynook resident Val said the quakes felt like "a very
strong gust of wind shaking the house''. The floor moved
rapidly for a few seconds and the cat fled as the house
A Torbay resident said her whole room started shaking during
the first quake.
"I thought someone just crashed into the house! It lasted for
10 seconds and when I looked outside everything was fine ...
About four minutes later, my whole house started shaking and
I heard my siblings scream and I ran to their aid.''
Kim said she thought she'd had "one wine too many'' until her
neighbour confirmed her shock that there had been an
"I believed my neighbour before I believed my husband. My
chair shook and my glasses rattled. My neighbour's whole
house shook along with his blinds.''
The tremor was also felt in west Auckland, where residents in
Muriwai and Hunua said they felt their houses shaking.
The tremors have encouraged some Aucklanders to stock up on
Civil Defence emergency supplies.
Glendowie woman Caroline Wood, who saw the walls of her house
shake, said she would take the quake as a warning to be
That sentiment was echoed by Lisa West in Birkenhead, who
felt a jolt and the kitchen rattled.
"Quite frankly it freaked me out, enough to shake me out of
apathy with regard to sorting out a household plan for a
civil defence emergency. I'm getting onto it first thing
People who felt the earthquake are being urged to register it
on GeoNet's website by clicking the 'Felt it?' button.
The earthquake has already prompted a Facebook page called 'I
Survived the Auckland Earthquake 17/03/13', where users are
sharing humorous memes. The page already has over 2,500