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

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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.

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The United States Geological Survey reported that the quake was centered 34 kilometers east of Blenheim at a relatively shallow depth of 16 kilometers. 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.

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