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New Zealand still feeling aftershocks from mid-July quake

Last Updated: Thursday, July 30, 2009 - 13:42

Wellington: Three moderate earthquakes, ranging in magnitude from 5.0 to 5.1, struck southern New Zealand early Thursday, -- the latest of hundreds of aftershocks since a 7.8-magnitude quake in mid-July, seismologists reported.
Emergency services said there were no immediate reports of injury or damage from the latest quakes in the Fiordland region of South Island.

A magnitude-5.1 quake struck off South Island`s west coast just before 8 am (0130 IST), said government geological agency, GNS Science. It was followed in the next few hours by two magnitude-5.0 temblors.

GNS Science said hundreds of aftershocks have been recorded in the sparsely populated region following the powerful 7.8-magnitude quake on July 15, the strongest recorded in the world so far this year.

Geologists confirmed last week that the power unleashed by the quake twisted South Island out of shape, moving its southwest tip 12 inches closer to Australia. It also generated a small local tsunami wave about 8 inches high.

New Zealand`s Earthquake Commission said the cost of damage from the big quake and its aftershocks could rise to USD 4 million.

Commission insurance manager Lance Dixon said USD 2.3 million worth of claims for damaged property have been filed.

Bureau Report

First Published: Thursday, July 30, 2009 - 13:42
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