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WELLINGTON, New Zealand - A strong earthquake Friday rocked New Zealand's capital city of Wellington but there were no initial reports of injuries or significant damage.

The magnitude-5.3 temblor struck just after 9 a.m. and was widely felt throughout central New Zealand. It was strong enough to knock items off shelves and lasted about 20 seconds.

The United States Geological Survey reported that the quake was centered 34 kilometers (21 miles) east of Blenheim at a relatively shallow depth of 16 kilometers (10 miles). Shallow earthquakes tend to feel more severe on the surface.

New Zealand is part of the so-called Pacific "Ring of Fire" that receives regular seismic activity. A severe earthquake in the city of Christchurch in 2011 killed 185 people and destroyed much of the city's downtown.