About 20 aftershocks have struck following a “weak” earthquake that woke Auckland and Coromandel residents in the early hours of Saturday.
The 5.2 magnitude quake struck at 3.47am, 120 km north-east of Whangamata.
According to GeoNet, over 2500 people have reported feeling it.
The quake was widely felt across Auckland – a rarity for the city which is one of the country’s least quake-prone areas.
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GNS Science seismologist John Ristau said at least 20 aftershocks had been recorded since the earthquake.
Because it happened offshore, it was possible there were also some smaller ones that hadn’t been recorded.
Ristau said the largest aftershock so far was magnitude 3.8 – and one larger than 4 wasn’t likely.
The earthquake wasn’t likely to have effected the sea floor and was too small to cause a tsunami.
But having the earthquake felt in Auckland was a rarity, Ristau said.
Auckland is far away from any fault lines – although it is in the realm of volcanic fields so earthquakes from that are possible.
“No place in New Zealand is truly free of earthquakes,” he said.
Apart from this quake, the most recent time Aucklanders could have felt one was in early 2019 when three magnitude 4 earthquakes occurred about halfway to the city from where Saturday’s quake struck.
One person tweeted they felt the quake from the twelfth floor of a hotel in Takapuna.
Others reacted with surprise.
“Was that an earthquake in Auckland?” another posted.
“Yes, felt that! Apartment building felt very ‘live’ for a moment there,” a stunned Aucklander said.
“That’s the strongest I’ve ever felt a quake in Coromandel, do not like,” another said.
The earthquake – as well as light aftershocks – were also felt in Opito Bay.
“Our house shook for about a good 15 seconds,” a Stuff reader said.
”[It was] quite strong.”
Another said the earthquake was of “reasonable size” to sway a bach in Whangamata.
There are no reports of any damage from the weak quake and police and Fire and Emergency had not received any calls.