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Powerful Quake Hits New Zealand

May 24, 2001

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) _ A powerful earthquake shook much of New Zealand early Friday but there were no immediate reports of injury or damage, police said.

The Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences said the 6.2 magnitude temblor occurred deep underground, the apparent reason there was little damage.

But the quake was felt widely throughout the North Island and as far south as Christchurch, on South Island, when it struck at 6:08 a.m. It was centered near Taumaranui, 280 miles north of the capital, Wellington.

A quake of magnitude 6 is capable of causing major damage.

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