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A strong but deep quake struck New Zealand's North Island on Tuesday afternoon, causing Parliament to be briefly suspended as a precaution.

The epicenter of the quake was just to the east of Waitara, a coastal town halfway between the North Island cities of Auckland and Wellington. Deeper quakes are typically less damaging. The US Geological Survey, said this quake took place at a depth of 227 km.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were at the south Auckland charity Pillars when the quake struck about 3.15pm. The quake's location is approximately 300km from the subduction zone (running parallel to the eastern coast of North Island) and with typical subduction angles of about 30 degrees, the geometry is about right.

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

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Civil Defence Minister Kris Faafoi said there had been no reports of damage or injuries.

"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.

New Zealand, which lies on the boundary of the Australian and Pacific tectonic plates, forms a part of the well-known "Ring of Fire", and can bring up to 15,000 tremors a year.

More than 15,000 people have reported feeling the natural disaster with some having felt it as far north as Auckland and as south as Christchurch.