A strong earthquake rocked New Zealand early Monday, but there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries. The magnitude-6.5 tremor struck just east of North Island around 11:30 a.m., local time. Government officials said there was no threat of a tsunami, the New Zealand Herald reported.
The earthquake occurred at a depth of 35 kilometers (21.7 miles) about 181 kilometers northeast of Gisborne. The shaking lasted for “several minutes,” a resident of the city of Whakatane told the Herald. Other nearby cities including Rotorua, Tauranga and Wellington also felt the quaking.
— Sara Page (@007GAL) November 16, 2014
— TheBlazeNOW (@TheBlazeNOW) November 16, 2014
New Zealand lies along the eastern margin of the Australia tectonic plate where it meets with the Pacific Plate. Large earthquakes are common along the tectonic boundary, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. There have been 15 magnitude-7.5 earthquakes or higher recorded near New Zealand since 1900.
The worst earthquake in New Zealand’s recent history occurred in 1931. The magnitude-7.8 quake hit near Hawke’s Bay and killed 256 people, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.