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Rare ‘moderate’ earthquake jolts Auckland City

Updated 4:58pm — A rare quake has been widely felt in Auckland this afternoon.  The quake initially measured 4.0 but has been downgraded to 3.9, but was just 6kms deep – GeoNet says the intensity was still “moderate”. 

It was felt as a sharp jolt to many.

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 3.1 it had light intensity was centred also on the island.

While not necessarily large, the ‘moderate intensity’ quake is newsworthy due to Auckland’s quiet history with earthquakes.  Every year a two a small quake is usually felt, in our opinion this was one of the strongest in the past decade or two.

There have been no reports of damage.

Did you feel either?  Share your reports below!


Carol Gilbert on 17/03/2013 9:57am

I have lived in Auckland for around 30 years and this is the first quake I have felt here. I got such a fright, heard the noise and everything in my lounge rattled. I was lying on my couch when it happened and the couch shook. I read some reports on this site from the quake we apparently had last year (although I didn’t notice it) and most people thought it was an accident outside. Well, I thought the same thing so went out to check if someone had run into a powerpole or such like. Funny how Aucklanders’ immediately default to traffic accidents when an unusual occurance happens. I found a quake website and filled in a report. I was bought up in the wairarapa where earthquake tremors were commonplace. So its been a long time re-experiencing it and it wasn’t a nice feeling.

Karl on 17/03/2013 4:59am

Was a good jolt alright.. Kinda rolled right under me it felt like.. I had my headphones on sitting in my computer chair.. Feet like a wave went under me and rocked the chair.. Awesome

Connie Lam on 17/03/2013 4:21am

Yes, I felt both, the first at 4pm – very slight – and the second at 4.07pm I think. My bed shook, the mirrors rattled for about 6-10 seconds, and there was a loud sound too. Tried to immediately access this site but couldn’t connect till now. This is the second quake I’ve felt in my 12 years in Auckland, the first was just last year (or was it the year before) when I thought there were no quakes in Auckland and what I felt/heard was like a truck hitting the corner of my garage!

Claire on 17/03/2013 3:48am

I didn’t feel the first one, but the second was quite noticeable. Quite a loud juddering noise and the house rattled for a few seconds. To be honest I initially thought it was the washing machine going nuts with an unbalanced load during the spin cycle, but I sold the machine that used to do that over a year ago!

As people are pointing out, it’s nothing like what our Cantabrian friends have been through, but I’ve lived in Auckland for 40 years and never felt a quake before, so it was quite a surprise.

David Russell on 17/03/2013 3:48am

10 quakes, all from 3.7 to 4.0 at Motutapu, which is an extinct volcano.

Guest on 17/03/2013 3:59am

Update your facts… Motutapu is aSandstone island not a volcanic… Rangitoto is Volcanic…

Anne on 17/03/2013 3:46am

Only me and the parrot felt the first one. He took fright, the couch shook a bit and it felt like there was still rumbling afterwards. As I was filling out a geonet report the second one rattled the house. The whole household felt that one. Hopefully no damage to services.
The 3 little quakes we had a few years back did damage to pump connections under my drive which meant replacing my pump. EQC would not come to the party saying they do not pay out for damage to underground services. Hope there is no more

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