Published December 03, 2011
WELLINGTON, New Zealand – A 5.3-magnitude earthquake struck under the strait separating New Zealand's major north and south islands Saturday night, causing minor damage in the capital Wellington.
The quake struck at 7:19pm local time at a depth of 37.1 miles under the Cook Strait, 20 miles south-southwest of Wellington, the United States Geological Survey reported.
New Zealand's GNS Science measured the earthquake as 5.7 on the Richter scale.
The tremor was felt strongly in Wellington and Marlborough on the north and south islands, respectively, stuff.co.nz reported.
There were several reports of minor damage to buildings in Wellington, the website reported, adding that witnesses described the tremor as lasting around 20 seconds.
There were no reports of any casualties.
GeoNet duty officer Tony Hurst told the New Zealand Herald the quake was the largest recorded in the region for around 20 years.