New Zealand: 6.1 Magnitude Earthquake strikes near New Plymouth

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An earthquake measuring 6.1 on the Richter scale struck near the town of New Plymouth in New Zealand, reported by the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

According to the reports, quake was recorded at 3:13 pm local time, at a depth of 227 kilometres on the North Island’s west coast.

Thousands of people felt the quake.

Meanwhile the New Zealand Parliament in Wellington briefly suspended proceedings till further notice after the tremor.

There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage reported so far.

More details are awaited.

New Zealand has suffered damaging earthquakes in recent years.

In February 2011, Christchurch on the South Island was struck by a magnitude-6.3 earthquake which killed many people and injured several thousand.