Earthquake hits lower North Island overnight

A 4.6 magnitude earthquake has struck the lower North Island overnight.

Thousands of people have reported feeling the quake, which struck 30km west of Paraparaumu, at a depth of 33km, at 3.51am, GeoNet reported.

The shaking has been described as “light” and almost 6000 people reported that they felt it – via the GeoNet website.

Of those felt reports, six people described it as “extreme”, four people said it was “severe” and 50 described it at “strong”.

People in the area – including in and around Wellington – have described as “short and sharp” and although officially recorded as a light shake, was strong enough to wake people up in the middle of the night.

One woman wrote on Facebook: “Oh my gosh. Never felt one like that before. Scary.”

Another woman named Jane, of Paraparaumu, told Newstalk ZB: “It was just like a bus had hit the house.

“It was a real thump and then shuddering for a few seconds. In fact, I think I’m still shuddering.

“No damage but a lot of creaking. It was an absolute thump, short and sharp. It was like being hit by a bus.”

Another ZB listener, Owen, felt the quake in Lower Hutt and said it was a little unsettling.

“It was a little bit of a shimmy and it actually woke me up. It was a little bit unnerving actually.”

Other people have reported getting a notification on their cell phones – a loud alarm – alerting them to a quake just before it struck.

There have yet to be any reports of injuries or damage.

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