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Northern New Zealand Jolted by 6.3 Magnitude Quake January 24, 2014
Quake Map of New Zealand
A strong quake cracked buildings and tossed items off shelves as it rocked much of New Zealand’s lower North Island, including the capital of Wellington, on Monday afternoon.

The 6.3 magnitude quake was centered about 70 miles northeast of the capital at a depth of about 19 miles, according to the country’s GeoNet agency. It was followed by scores of smaller aftershocks.

Wellington Regional Civil Defence controller Bruce Pepperell told reporters that there were no reports of major damage in the capital, but homeowners north of Masterton said household items had been knocked over.

The 20 seconds of shaking caused one of the giant eagles hanging from the ceiling in the Wellington Airport — there to promote “The Hobbit” — to crash onto the terminal floor.

A string of strong quakes centered just south of Wellington last year caused widespread damage to the region in the strongest shaking there since 1942.

Residents said that Monday’s temblor was far weaker than anything experienced during that series of quakes.