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Quakes rattle Eastern Bay of Plenty

A series of earthquakes has shaken the Eastern Bay of Plenty.

The first hit at 6.20pm, 25 km south-west of Whakatane, and was 3.5 on the Richter scale.

More than 30 quakes were recorded near Kawerau about that time, says GeoNet.

The largest of the quakes during the evening was a 4.1 tremor at a shallow 2km depth.

Two years ago, GNS said a long term study had shown the growth of a magma chamber was responsible for a seven-year swarm of earthquakes in the area between 2004 and 2011.

That previously unrecognised magma body caused several thousand small earthquakes as it expanded about 9km below Matata, pushing up 400 square kilometres of land by 40cm.

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