Early morning earthquakes in lower North Island felt by thousands

Thousands of people in have felt three earthquakes early this morning in the lower half of the North Island.

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The largest was a magnitude 4.3 quake 30km north-west of Levin. Source: Breakfast

New Plymouth residents were jolted awake by a 3.6 magnitude earthquake shake just after 5.30am.

The quake described as "moderate" by GeoNet struck 5km north west of the Taranaki city at a depth of 12 kilometres at 5.36am.

More than 1800 people indicated they felt the quake on the GeoNet site.

One person told Breakfast the quake felt like a "short, sharp jolt".

Another magnitude 2.3 quake struck at 6:12am in the same location, this time at a depth of 10 kilometres. It was described as "weak" by GeoNet. 

Nearly 100 people reported feeling the earthquake around Taranaki on the GeoNet site.

Another magnitude 4.3 earthquake was reported at 6:29am, its epicentre 30 kilometres north west of Levin. It struck at a depth of 29km and was described by GeoNet as "light". 

More than 2700 people, largely around the western lower North Island, reported feeling the quake on GeoNet.