New Zealand shaken by 6.3 earthquake

New Zealand shaken by 6.3 earthquake

New Zealand shaken by 6.3 earthquake

Updated 9 December 2012, 21:12 AEDT

A 6.3 magnitude earthquake hit New Zealand's North Island on Saturday but there were no reports of serious damage.

The US Geological Survey said the earthquake, striking at 7.19am, was 170 kilometres deep.

It was centred about 200 kilometres south of the capital, Auckland, but was felt through much of the country.

New Zealand's official GeoNet recorded the quake at a lower 5.8 magnitude and said it was the strongest in a swarm of 24 tremors in the North Island over a seven-hour period.

In February last year 185 people died after a shallow 6.3 magnitude quake devastated New Zealand's second largest city, Christchurch.

New Zealand sits on the so-called "ring of fire", the boundary of the Australian and Pacific tectonic plates, and experiences up to 15,000 tremors a year.

AFP