A 5.1 magnitude earthquake has struck 15km east of Seddon this afternoon, at a depth of 11km.
GeoNet reported the quake at 1.20pm, initially at ‘strong', but it has since been upgraded to severe.
One commenter on GeoNet's Facebook page says it felt “like someone kicked the bottom of my chair in Ngaio".
Others report feeling “a good shake” as far away as Blenheim and Wellington.
Two further earthquakes were registered in the region, at around the same depth, but at much lower magnitudes of 2.6 and 3.