Natural Disasters

Earthquake Strikes New Zealand

Some people were trapped in elevators, no serious damage reported

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(CNN) — A 6.5-magnitude earthquake struck New Zealand on Friday, disrupting transportation and trapping people in elevators.

But authorities said there were no reports of serious damage.

"We've certainly dodged a bullet," said Vince Cholewa, a spokesman for the civil defense ministry. "There are buildings that have lost some plaster. Some cracks in walls—nothing major."

The epicenter of the quake was near the northern tip of the country's South Island, 14 miles south of the town of Blenheim, the the U.S. Geological Survey said. It struck at 2:31 p.m. local time and was followed by a series of aftershocks.