6.5-magnitude earthquake hits New Zealand

Wellington, New Zealand Photograph: DAVID WILLIAMS/AAPIMAGE
A strong earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale has jolted New Zealand\’s capital, halting air and rail services, but there have been no immediate reports of damage or injuries.
Friday\’s quake, which hit near the northern tip of New Zealand\’s South Island, was at a depth of about 10km, according to Geonet, a New Zealand earthquake monitoring service, which originally gave it a magnitude of 6.0.
While fire authorities said it was too early to assess the impact, there were some reports of superficial damage to buildings from the quake, which sent items tumbling from shop shelves.
There were also widespread power outages across the north of the South Island.
There was no specific threat of a widespread tsunami, according to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre.
New Zealand has been hit by a string of quakes since a shallow, 6.3 magnitude tremor devastated the South Island\’s Canterbury region in 2011, killing nearly 200 people and levelling Christchurch, the country\’s second largest city.
Source: Reuters and agencies
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