Minute-long earthquake rocks New Zealand

Minute-long earthquake rocks New Zealand

A strong earthquake halted trains in New Zealand, smashed windows and damaged Wellington's parliament building when it struck yesterday.

The US Geological Survey said the minute-long 6.5-magnitude tremor happened 35 miles off the coast south of the capital at a depth of 6.3 miles at 5.09pm local time yesterday.

No tsunami warning was issued following the quake.

Police said there had been minor structural damage that had left parts of the city without power.

There were no reports of serious casualties. The quake smashed windows, burst water pipes and was felt as far north as Auckland, the BBC said.

Wellington resident James Mclaren said the earthquake had caused power cuts in the city suburbs and prompted the temporary closure of its airport.

"There's been a bit of structural damage, lots of shattered glass everywhere," he told the BBC. "Initially there were a few screams and panic, people thought it was another Christchurch."

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