New Zealand’s South Island was struck by a major earthquake on Monday that local authorities classified as “severe.” The 5.6-magnitude earthquake was registered 19 miles north of the town of Wanaka at 2:30 p.m. local time (10: 30 pm EDT Sunday) at a depth of three miles, according to the New Zealand Herald.
Hundreds of residents felt tremors and saw buildings shaking for several seconds, but no damages or injuries were immediately reported.
A second, lighter tremor, registered at 3.4 magnitude, followed shortly after the first one.
“It gave us all a bit of a shock,” James Helmore, Wanaka's tourism chief, told the Southland Times. He said he had felt the shaking for about 15 seconds, and that there “may be some minor damage in plastering.”