Powerful Earthquake Strikes Wellington, New Zealand


Zoonar/Thinkstock(WELLINGTON, New Zealand) — New Zealand’s capital Wellington was struck by a 6.5 magnitude earthquake Sunday.

Nobody was reported as having been killed or seriously injured during the earthquake, which lasted a full minute, but the shaking did do some structural damage. Trains were stopped, and even Wellington’s parliament building was damaged.

“Quite a decent sort of a kick,” Wellington Police Inspector Marty Parker said, describing the quake. “In fact I’ve been living in Wellington for a couple of decades and that’s probably been one of the best ones, the bigger ones I’ve felt.”

Numerous utilities were impacted by the earthquake. Parker said it smashed windows, broke water mains and downed telephone and cable lines, leaving large areas without power.

The lack of power has the potential to be a problem, as July is the middle of winter for New Zealand. Luckily, Parker told ABC News that for now temperatures are manageable.

“Normally we get a very cold, southerly winds coming through about this time of year,” he said. “We’ve just got over a bit of a bad patch and so far, again touch wood, we’ve got pretty good weather.”

It could have been worse. In 2011, New Zealand was hit by a 6.3 magnitude quake centered near Christ Church that killed 185 people.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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