December 18, 2014
A powerful earthquake has struck New Zealand's North Island but there are no immediate reports of casualties or damage.
The U.S. Geological Survey reports the earthquake had a magnitude of 5.3. Another agency in New Zealand, GeoNet, has measured the earthquake Tuesday at magnitude-6.5.
The epicenter was about 45 miles (72 kilometers) southwest of Rotorua and shaking could be felt as far away as central Wellington.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the earthquake hit at 3:36 p.m. New Zealand time.
Christchurch in New Zealand's south was struck by a magnitude-7.1 earthquake in September and a devastating magnitude-6.3 quake in February that killed 181 people and crippled much of the city.