Geonet’s shaking map shows people in Auckland and Canterbury were among those who felt it was extreme.
An Auckland family whose car shook during the 5.8 magnitude earthquake centred near Wellington says “it was amazing to feel it so far away”.
The quake struck at 9.07pm yesterday and was centred about 30km northeast of French Pass, at the top of the South Island, at a depth of 51km.
There have been no reports of damage.
Geonet’s ‘shaking map’ shows nearly 45,000 people felt the quake across the country, from Southland to Northland.
More than 40 reported the shaking as extreme, including people in Canterbury and Auckland.
Rumblings were felt in Takanini, Auckland, where Sabrina Papps told the Herald she and her family had just enjoyed a meal out when their car began to shake.
“My mother went to check the engine, it stopped and nothing was there, then returned and heard the same loud rattle again after about 30 secs,” Papps said.
“Amazing to feel it from so far away! Turns out we never heard that sound prior or after the quake as the car is up to date with no issues.”
Geonet’s quake notification on Twitter prompted responses from around the country, with one saying “massive jolt in Nelson” and another from Upper Hutt saying it was “more like a truck going past”.
GNS Science seismologist John Ristau said the quake was one of four in New Zealand with a magnitude larger than 5.5 over the past year and was unlikely to produce large aftershocks.
“Deeper earthquakes like these don’t tend to produce significant aftershocks. Further earthquakes are always possible, but unlikely.”