A magnitude 5.2 earthquake, described by GeoNet as moderate, struck east of Nelson this afternoon.
GeoNet reports the quake at 3.14pm was centred 20 kilometres east of Nelson at a depth of 73 kilometres.
More than 8000 people have reported feeling the tremor, most describing it as light or weak.
But nearly 600 described the shaking as moderate and more than 30 said it was strong.
The quake was felt in central Wellington.