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Aftershocks below magnitude 5 in NZ

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 3/09/2016
The 7.1 magnitude earthquake left large cracks in the sand at Rangitukia Beach near Te Araroa. © Facebook/Ali Rewi The 7.1 magnitude earthquake left large cracks in the sand at Rangitukia Beach near Te Araroa.

Aftershocks from the magnitude-7.1 earthquake off the East Coast of New Zealand's North Island are continuing but are not as big as those immediately after it.

Since Friday night no tremors have measured above magnitude 5.0, duty seismologist Caroline Holden says.

The East Cape earthquake struck at 4.37am on Friday, generating a 30cm tsunami, and a magnitude-6.2 shake followed soon after.

Scientists at GNS Science say aftershocks will continue for weeks or months.

They had expected up to nine quakes of magnitude 5 to 5.9 since Friday night but that didn't happen.

Overnight there were about six quakes of magnitude 4.0 or more and the largest was a 4.6.

A magnitude-4.5 quake at 2.12pm on Saturday, which was at a depth of 17km and centred 65km northeast of Te Araroa, prompted only seven felt reports.

"It's early days. I wouldn't say it's over," Ms Holden said.

GNS Scientists have said aftershocks from a 7.2 earthquake in 1995 continued for about two years.

The Earthquake Commission, which covers the first $100,000 of damage claims for homeowners with insurance, said it had received 48 claims by Friday afternoon but did not have a damage cost yet.

The 110-year-old homestead at Puketiti Station, inland from Te Puia Springs, lost its chimney in the quake, the Gisborne Herald reports.

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