5.9-magnitude quake jolts New Zealand, felt by thousands

A 5.9-magnitude earthquake hit North Island, New Zealand, on Sunday morning and was felt by thousands of people, Trend reports citing Xinhua.

More than 5,000 people reported feeling the earthquake which happened offshore around 5:34 a.m. local time on Sunday. There is no report of human casualty yet.

The earthquake, which struck out at sea about 50 kilometers north-west of Te Kaha, Bay of Plenty in the North Island of New Zealand, was initially rated as 5.3-magnitude but has been upgraded to 5.9-magnitude. The depth of the earthquake is 115 kilometers down the sea.

GeoNet, which monitors seismic activity in New Zealand, said deeper quakes such as this were often widely felt, especially on the East Coast of North Island.

At about 7.30 a.m., the agency said it had reviewed the quake and upgraded it from a 5.3 to a 5.9. It reminded people to "drop, cover, and hold on" in the event of an earthquake.

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