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Earthquake causes damage, injuries, skinkholes in Wellington

Updated 1:05am — A major earthquake in Cook Strait Sunday evening has damaged buildings in Wellington, injured at least four & cut power to thousands across central New Zealand.

The Quake measured 6.5 on the Richter Scale and was 17kms deep. It was the second “severe” quake on Sunday to be felt in Wellington, Blenheim and surrounding main centres.

Inspector Ian Harris, of Police Communications, told news website Stuff there had been sink-holes reported on Featherston St between Johnston and Waring Taylor streets.

The sink-holes were on the road but it was not known how big of how many there were, he said. The road has been closed.

Media report four people had been injured, but the injuries are minor.

Many images on social media show glass across streets and some damaged vehicles.  Very large cracks were visible in buildings and across the port and there were unconfirmed reports of shipping containers toppling into the harbour.

Many buildings remain evacuated. 

Experts are advising Wellingtonians not to come to work untl noon Monday.  People are advised to remain off the roads overnight and tomorrow morning.

Numerous homes and buildings have been damaged with reports a Wellington hotel has had substantial damage.

The Beehive & Parliament have also had quake damage, despite the buildings being significantly quake proofed.

TranzMetro train services were cancelled until further notice.

GeoNet told 3 News they were surprised at the strength of the quake and that more quakes are likely to continue but are unlikely to be larger.

There are many reports of items off shelves and some people were trapped in lifts.

Numerous powerful aftershocks are being felt tonight.

People on Twitter felt the quake across central New Zealand. One person said driving was “scary”.

New Zealand Civil Defence say there is no Tsunami threat.

Wellington’s population is 400,000.

Not all the damage has been in Wellington – Marlborough has also been hit.  In Seddon – a small town south east of Blenheim & near the epicentre of the quake – many homes are without power and many have damage inside according to locals.

GeoNet reminds people to stay indoors with more aftershocks expected, as rushing outside means you could be hurt by falling debris like glass from windows or bricks from walls and chimneys.   Standing in a door way or under a table is still the safest option.

Did you feel it? Post your reports below.


catriona on 21/07/2013 6:33am

Only victim was my mince lol, the eel tank sloshed about, the oven shook towards me, but other than that we are all okay here, just a bit shaken.

Guest on 21/07/2013 6:12am

I could never really understand why people moved from Christchurch to Wellington to get away from quakes.

Guest on 21/07/2013 6:10am

This was the best one I’ve experienced in the last few years.
No TV now, but everything is else is OK at our house in Waikanae.


Guest on 21/07/2013 6:02am

Yes, it was big, ( we are in Stokes Valley, north of Wellington ) and big enough to have me racing for the back door, and felt not far off the big one that hit Christchurch on 22nd February, 2011. But surprisingly, there is no damage here, but we have had a lot of little after shocks. we have power etc., so life goes on… just hope it’s not Christchurch all over again!

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