Quake widely felt in New Zealand; no damage reported
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) - A magnitude-5.5 earthquake has been widely felt on New Zealand's North Island, though no major damage or injuries were reported.
The epicenter was relatively deep at 110 km. That lessens the surface impact, though such quakes tend to be felt over a broader area.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the temblor struck at 12:42 p.m. on Wednesday about 62 km south of Rotorua. A sharp jolt was felt as far away as Wellington, about 300 km south. Politicians noted it on Twitter while some workers took shelter under their desks.
New Zealand sits on the "Ring of Fire," an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin. A February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch killed 185 people and destroyed much of the downtown.