6.3-magnitude earthquake hits New Zealand's North Island

A strong earthquake shook the lower part of New Zealand's North Island on Monday, rattling buildings and reportedly knocking out power for some people in the region.

The 6.3-magnitude quake's epicenter was about 115 kilometers (71 miles) northeast of Wellington, the country's capital, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated. It hit at a depth of about 27 kilometers (17 miles), the agency said.

It struck just before 4 p.m. and was followed by a series of weaker aftershocks.

There were no immediate reports of casualties. But power was down and water mains had burst in the small town of Eketahuna, Steve Atkin, a resident at a hotel in the town, told CNN affiliate TVNZ.

Some residents of the region reported on social media that furniture in their homes had suffered damage, TVNZ said.

The earthquake was felt at Wellington Airport, the broadcaster reported.

New Zealand sits at the southwestern edge of the Pacific "ring of fire," an area of high seismic and volcanic activity that stretches up through Japan, across to Alaska and down the west coasts of North and South America.

In February 2011, a 6.3-magnitude earthquake toppled buildings in the South Island city of Christchurch, killing 185 people and injuring several thousand.

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