February 2016 – NEW ZEALAND – New Zealand’s capital city Wellington was rocked by 5.7 magnitude earthquake on Tuesday, according to the country’s earthquake monitoring service. The quake’s epicenter was 35 km southeast of St Arnaud, a small town in the north of the country’s South Island, at a depth of 62 km, according to Geonet’s website. Reuters witnesses felt shaking in Wellington, which has a population of about 450,000. There were no initial reports of damage or injury.
Earthquakes are common in New Zealand, whose two islands lie along the Australia-Pacific tectonic plate boundary. A shallow 6.3 magnitude earthquake devastated the South Island’s Canterbury region in February 22, 2011, resulting in nearly 200 deaths and leveling Christchurch, the country’s second-largest city. –AFR