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Strong earthquakes rattle Canterbury, Hawkes Bay

Radio New Zealand logo Radio New Zealand 22/11/2016

A "severe" 5.7 magnitude aftershock has hit North Canterbury, following a 5.4 earthquake in Hawke's Bay earlier in the day.

The latest shake struck near Culverden at 6.13pm at a depth of 23km.

Thousands of people, from Dunedin to Auckland, reported on GeoNet they felt the earthquake.

Three minutes earlier, at 6.10pm, a "strong" magnitude 4.6 earthquake hit north-east of Cheviot.

This evening's aftershocks follow a magnitude 5.4 earthquake off the coast of Hawke's Bay at 1.20pm.

The earlier earthquake struck 70km south-east of Porangahau at a depth of 30km.

GeoNet described it as "strong".

GNS scientist Kelvin Berryman told Checkpoint with John Campbell that earthquake was likely to be connected to last Monday's magnitude 7.8 earthquake in the upper South Island.

Thousands of aftershocks have rattled the country since then, and they are expected to continue for some time.

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