Quake felt in Wanaka closes highway

State Highway 6 through the Haast Pass was closed temporarily yesterday because of an earthquake.

The 7km deep, 4.6 magnitude quake struck 40km east of Haast at 1pm. It was felt in Wanaka and described by GNS Science as "strong".

New Zealand Transport Agency West Coast senior asset manager Mark Pinner said the earthquake led to the closure of the road at the Diana Falls slip the agency has been working to stabilise for the past three months.

Mr Pinner said the quake measured 6 on the Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale used to determine the safety of staff working on the slip.