Earthquake Strikes New Zealand-6.3

Friday, December 7, 2012
By Paul Martin

LiveScience.com
07 December 2012

An earthquake of preliminary magnitude 6.3 struck New Zealand’s North Island today, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

The temblor’s epicenter was 12 miles (19 km) southeast of the town of Tokoroa and 214 miles (345 km) north-northeast of the capital Wellington. It originated 103 miles (167 km) deep and struck at 7:19 a.m. local time Saturday (1819 UTC Friday), the USGS reports.

Earthquakes of this size can cause significant damage, especially with poorly built structures. Even well designed buildings can be damaged or, in some cases, destroyed depending on the severity of the quake and a building’s proximity to the epicenter. Earthquakes of this size are sometimes followed by significant aftershocks.

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