Strong quake strikes off New Zealand; no reports of damage

WELLINGTON, New Zealand: A strong earthquake rattled parts of New Zealand on Tuesday but there were no reports of damage or injuries.

The magnitude 5.6 quake struck off the coast of New Zealand’s North Island at about 1:20 p.m. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center did not issue a tsunami warning.

The epicenter was about 200 kilometers (120 miles) northeast of the capital Wellington, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It was at a relatively shallow depth of 10 kilometers (6 miles). New Zealand was last week hit with a powerful magnitude 7.8 quake near the coastal South Island town of Kaikoura that killed two people.

The nation of 4.7 million people sits on the “Ring of Fire,” an arc of seismic faults around the Pacific Ocean where earthquakes are common. An earthquake in Christchurch five years ago killed 185 people and destroyed thousands of homes and buildings. -AP