WELLINGTON: A strong 6.9-magnitude earthquake struck off New Zealand on Sunday, seismologists said, but no tsunami alert was issued.
The quake hit at 5:09pm (0509 GMT) 57 kilometres (36 miles) south-southwest of Wellington at a depth of 10.1 kilometres, the US Geological Survey said.
The earthquake has been felt as far north as Auckland.
There are also reports of power outages in parts of Wellington.
A swarm of strong and moderate earthquakes have rocked Marlborough and Wellington residents.
People in central New Zealand were shaken awake by the severe quake at 7.17am, which struck 30 kilometres east of Seddon at a depth of 19km.
More than 5,000 people reported experiencing the earthquake on GeoNet, with felt reports stretching from the bottom of the South Island to as far north as Auckland.
A series of aftershocks have continued to hit the same spot, which lies below Cook Strait, including strong 4.8 and 4.9 events.
Wellington resident Jenny Nelson said she experienced a slow rocking, rather than a sudden jolt.
Manawatu Resident Marguerite Merritt described the shaking as small, with nothing falling off shelves in her home.
Dr Anna Kaiser, Geonet's duty seismologist said there was a smiliar swarm of quakes in the region in 2005.
But how long these quakes will continue for or if the big one's yet to come is still unknown.
Civil Defence have said the 5.8 earthquake was not of significant enough magnitude to cause a tsunami.
No major incidents have been reported as a result of the shake.
Train services in Wellington are running again after being temporarily suspended while lines were checked for damage.