strong earthquake shakes nz's south island

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    Strong earthquake shakes NZ's South Island
    08:46, Tuesday, 23 November 2004

    WELLINGTON, Nov 23 (Reuters) - A strong earthquake shook New
    Zealand's South Island on Tuesday.

    The Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences said the
    tremor, measuring 7.2 on the open-ended Richter Scale, struck at
    9:26 a.m. (2026 GMT).

    The government institute said it was centred 240 km (144
    miles) south-west of the town of Te Anau and 33 km below ground

    New Zealand scientists record around 14,000 earthquakes a
    year, of which around 20 top 5.0 on the Richter scale.

    The last fatal earthquake in the geologically active country,
    caught between the Pacific and Indo-Australian tectonic plates,
    was in 1968 when an earthquake measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale
    killed three people on the South Island's West Coast.

    ((Wellington newsroom tel +64 4 471 4234, fax +64 4 473 6212
    [email protected]))

    (c) Reuters Limited 2004
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