Early morning quake rattles Wellington

Thousands in the capital had an earlier-than-expected start to their weekends after being shaken awake by a 3.8-magnitude quake on Saturday morning.

The shake struck at 5:49am at a depth of 39km, according to GeoNet.

While not a huge quake, the epicentre was just 15km northwest of the city and 2501 people reported feeling it on GeoNet's website.

The earthquake attracted more than 2500 felt reports on the GeoNet website.
The earthquake attracted more than 2500 felt reports on the GeoNet website. Photo credit: GeoNet

Two described it as extreme and 12 as strong - though most felt reports came in the light and weak categories.

However it was still big enough to give thousands an early wake-up call, and people took to Twitter in their droves to comment on the indiscriminate rattle.

"Thanks that was better than a morning coffee I'm wide awake now," one wrote, while another commented that it "felt bigger" than the 3.8-magnitude it was given.

One Wellingtonian described it as a "short sharp jolt" in a tweet posted this morning.

New Zealand's capital city was badly damaged in last year's November quakes, with many buildings having to be demolished or reinforced as a result.

Newshub.