Fresh quake hits New Zealand amid damage from temblor

WELLINGTON, New Zealand – A magnitude 4.8 earthquake rattled a New Zealand city Saturday after it was hit by a powerful temblor earlier this week that resulted in millions of dollars (euros) in damage.

Geological agency GNS Science said the aftershock shook the area at 11:30 a.m. local time (2230 GMT Friday) and was centered 30 kilometers (18 miles) southeast of Gisborne at a depth of 30 kilometers (18 miles).

There were no reports of injuries or damage from the third magnitude 4 aftershock in a day and a half.

Thursday’s 6.8-magnitude temblor wrecked an apartment building and two shops in the port city, 50 kilometers (30 miles) from the quake’s epicenter. Other damage including caved-in roofs and cracked walls on buildings and gaping holes in roadways.

Sixteen people suffered minor injuries in the quake, which caused some residents to flee for higher ground amid tsunami fears. No wave was generated, however.

Gisborne Mayor Meng Foon said the city’s central business area had reopened and about 70 percent of shops would be operating Saturday.

Earthquake Commission insurance manager Lance Dixon said early estimates indicated 30 million New Zealand dollars (US$23 million; €16 million) in damage was incurred.

New Zealand sits above an area of the Earth’s crust where two tectonic plates are colliding. It records more than 14,000 earthquakes a year but only about 150 of those are felt by residents and fewer than 10 do any damage. – AP

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