New Zealand hit by ‘big’ 5.4 magnitude earthquake, causing landslides

Will Worley
Kaikoura was left shaking by a 5.4 magnitude quake: Ulrich Lange/Wikimedia

New Zealand’s South Island has been struck by a “big” 5.4 magnitude earthquake, causing landslides.

The quake struck near the town of Kaikoura on Sunday, at a depth of 13km, causing strong shaking.

No casualties were reported after the earthquake struck.

“Looks like that was a bit of a rattle. Hope everyone who felt that is doing ok,” tweeted the New Zealand Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management.

Residents and tourists were shaken but unhurt by the quake, which was followed by number of lighter aftershocks.

Hotel manager Ross James said it was “a big one”.

He told the New Zealand Herald: "It certainly felt like a [magnitude] five... It was short and sharp. It was very, very sharp, quick and then it was over.

"There are people here from China who only just arrived but they took it extremely well - they said 'We've got earthquakes in China as well' so they're all happy."

Another Kaikoura hotel employee, named Warren, told Stuff: "We've got eight rooms full - all bar one couple are from overseas and they weren't sure what it was all about.

"It's not an experience they get to witness all too often. I wish it wasn't one that came around too often for me either."

Outside Kaikoura, landslides were reported in the surrounding hills and dust was seen rising from them.

The region experiences frequent earthquakes. Last year, two people died and 57 people were hurt after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Kaikoura.

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