The specific area affected was Milford Sound, in the touristic region of Fiordland in New Zealand’s South Island. Thousands of locals reported having felt the earthquake, which was located at a depth of 5km (3 miles).
Locals took to Geonet record that have felt the earthquake
There were no immediate infrastructural damage or injuries reported.
The trembling was felt throughout lower South Island in regions such as Queenstown, Wanaka, Te Anau, Alexandra and Dunedin.
Smaller magnitude earthquakes took place after the main temblor.
“We certainly felt it. We’ve got cars out the front here and they were just rolling around in the car park there,” Helen Archer, a resident of Te Anau township, told the New Zealand Herald.
“It was just rolling. The two of us here feel a bit car-sick or sea-sick still.”
Milford Sound on the west coast of the South Island is home to rare marine habitats and originated from old glaciers.
New Zealand is situated on the “Ring of Fire”, which is still seismically active.
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“There’s nothing unusual going on in New Zealand that doesn’t happen all the time,” says Dr Ristau.
“New Zealand just gets earthquakes all the time and that’s just part and parcel of New Zealand sitting directly over top of the boundary between two huge tectonic plates that are crashing together and moving side-by-side past each other.”
Compared with other countries, Dr Ristau says New Zealand is “one of the more seismically active countries”.
“So we do get our fair share of earthquakes and a lot more than most other places in the world.