WELLINGTON — A 6.1-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of the North Island of New Zealand on Saturday, according to GeoNet NZ.
As the largest aftershock since Friday’s 7.2-magnitude quake, this quake hit 140 km east of Te Araroa at 1:16 p.m. local time at a depth of 33 km. Thousands of local people reported they felt it.
It sparked a tsunami warning for eastern parts of the North Island which was later lifted.
There have been a number of aftershocks since the Friday morning quakes, with most in the range of 4-5 magnitude.
On Friday, three consecutive strong quakes hit offshore of northern New Zealand. The strongest one, a 8.1-magnitude earthquake hit near the Kermadec Islands at about 8:28 a.m. local time on Friday, triggering a tsunami warning, with water surges seen in some North Island bays later in the day.
GeoNet predicted after Friday’s quakes and tsunami warnings that it was “very likely” that there could be more earthquakes up to 7.9-magnitude in the coming month, estimating an up to 90 percent chance of the quakes hitting within the next 30 days.