Magnitude 6.1 quake strikes off New Zealand coast

WELLINGTON, Feb 15 (Reuters) - A magnitude 6.1 earthquake struck New Zealand near Wellington on Wednesday at a depth of 48 km (30 miles), government seismic monitor Geonet said.

The earthquake's epicentre was 50 km from the town of Paraparaumu, according to Geonet.

A Reuters witness felt a strong shaking that lasted several seconds in the capital of Wellington.

New Zealand lies on the seismically active "Ring of Fire", a 40,000-km arc of volcanoes and ocean trenches girdling much of the Pacific Ocean.

This comes after Cyclone Gabrielle caused significant damage across the North Island this week leaving 4 people dead, more than 10,000 people displaced and widespread damage.

Reporting by Lucy Craymer; Editing by Tom Hogue

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