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New Zealand’s North Island has been shaken by an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.3, but there were no immediate reports of major damage or serious injury.


The quake struck 24 miles north-east of Masterton at 3.52 pm local time, the US Geological Survey said.


Residents described major shaking, goods tumbling off shelves and pictures knocked askew.


A sculpture of a giant eagle suspended from the roof at Wellington airport fell to the ground, local media said.


No-one was injured when the sculpture – used to promote the Hobbit movie – came down.


Many businesses were closed because of a public holiday.


Shaking was felt in much of central New Zealand, including in the capital, Wellington.


Wellington rail operator Tranz Metro said that all train services were suspended as a result of the earthquake, and would be replaced by buses, the BBC reported.


A 6.3-magnitude earthquake hit Christchurch in 2011, killing 185 people.