South Island earthquake rocks Waikato region
A severe 7.5 quake that struck the South Island shook Waikato residents awake on Monday.
Residents on Waikato and Bay of Plenty coasts were initially warned that a tsunami could strike but that warning was quickly downgraded to a marine and beach threat.
In Hamilton, buildings swayed and suburban pools sloshed out onto lawns.
‘‘Zero jobs are waiting for us,’’ Hamilton Police Senior Sergeant Dean Anderson said shortly after the quake hit at 12.05am. ‘‘It’s very strange.’’ Police were on stand-by to assist anyone who needed help to evacuate.
The fourth floor of the station was shaking quite a bit when the quake hit, Anderson said.
‘‘One guy was near the top floor, raced down to the bottom and saw the whole building sway.’’ Chloe Bruce
Punters at Hamilton’s casino were wondering if they had indulged a bit too much when the shaking started.
Chloe Bruce, who was on the graveyard shift at a Z service station had Waikato Hospital staff come in.
‘‘[The earthquake] was insanely big,’’ Bruce said.
Employees at the hospital said the building was ‘‘rolling’’.
‘‘One guy was near the top floor, raced down to the bottom and saw the whole building sway. He went in the opposite direction.’’