Strong Quake Shakes New Zealand During Prince Harry, Meghan Markle Visit

The earthquake was centered 20 km south of Taumaranui

The earthquake was centered 20 km south of Taumaranui

Schoolchildren in New Zealand were forced to scramble underneath their desks as a magnitude 6.1 quake struck the country's North Island.

During a session of the parliament, lawmakers had to stop deliberations and seek immediate refuge as a security precaution when the quake was felt. It was at a depth of 227 kilometers (141 miles), according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

New Zealand's official GeoNet seismic monitoring service said a 6.2 quake struck at a depth of 207 kilometres in the central North Island about 340 kilometres northeast of Wellington.

She urged Kiwis to "check on those around you".

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle are now on tour in New Zealand, although the quake does not appear to have been strongly felt in Auckland, where the British royals are.

No damage had been reported, a civil defence spokeswoman said.

There were no immediate reports of damage in the nearby coastal town of New Plymouth.

"I think some people might be a little nervy and that´s understandable but it's just a case of following those safety messages and being prepared", he said.

Beyond that, reports of where (and where not) it was felt vary very widely with some close-by locations not noticing it - a local government councillor just a few tens of kilometres away reported feeling nothing, yet there were strong reports from Christchurch around 500km away.

New Zealand is a country that is located in-line with the notorious "ring of fire", along an underground fault line zone known for consistent quakes and tremors.

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