An earthquake registering 5.8 on the Richter scale hit New Zealand on Monday, seismologists at GNS Science, the official monitoring agency, reported. ( dpa )
The quake, centred near Turangi in the central North Island, was felt 260 kilometres to the south in the capital, Wellington, but there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage.
The quake's epicentre was 80 kilometres below the surface, 50 kilometres deeper than the country's last big quake of magnitude 5.9 which was centred near Hastings, on the east coast of the island, on August 25.
That quake produced hundreds of compensation claims for damage to the government's Earthquake Commission, but most of it was for minor events like cracked walls and ceilings and broken crockery and ornaments.