A magnitude 5.1 strong earthquake at 5.39am woke up residents in and around Hamilton in North Island, New Zealand this Wednesday 4 January morning.
The depth of the earthquake was 7km and stuck 5km south of Te Aroha in the Waikato region, according to GeoNet.
It was followed by 2.7 magnitude earthquakes at 5.47am and 5.51am.
Fresh tremors of magnitude 3.1 were widely felt again at 11.21am in Waikato and Bay of Plenty
According to updated reports, about 20,000 people in northern parts of the country including Hamilton, Tauranga, Auckland and Rotorua felt the first strong shock.
According to GeoNet, the epicentre was on the active Kerepehi fault line which runs north into the Firth of Thames, and likely on the area last having a strong quake in 1972 with the 4.9 Te Aroha earthquake.
A strong shaking was felt by many Hamilton residents, and lights and other loose things rattled when the quake first stuck at 5.30am.
Some worried local residents rushed out of their homes, still in their night dresses. Subsequent tremors were, however, weak.
“I’m not a light sleeper, but was still awakened by a sharp jolt,” says a Huntington resident, Manjit. “Bed shook, and windows rattled.”
Another resident described the moments earthquake stuck. “I was on the lounge couch, about to switch on the TV, when everything started shaking badly. It looked as if the whole house was shaking and rumbling sounds were heard from everything present in the room. I clutched the couch and waited for shaking to stop before venturing out from the front door. An elderly couple down the lane were out of their home as well. This was my first real experience of an earthquake,” he says.
“It was scary,” reported Bhawna who woke up after feeling the quake. Another Hamilton North resident was in the toilet when earthquake stuck and was ‘xxit’ scared, he says.
The advice from Civil Defence Emergency Management and the NZ Society for Earthquake Engineering is to Drop, Cover and Hold when the shaking starts.
Once you feel the shake, you should drop, take cover under a sturdy piece of furniture, and hold on, or shelter against an interior wall away from windows, bookcases etc, until tremors stop.
Several residents that NewsViews spoke to this morning, did not adhere to this advice.
There have been no reports of any damage received so far.
Did you feel the earthquake? Share your experiences with us: Email: email@example.com
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