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