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Wellington quake threatens Test

Fri, 16 Aug 2013 09:22
Westpac-stadium2 Westpac-stadium Westpac-stadium3

Next weekend's Bledisloe Cup and Rugby Championship Test between New Zealand and Australia in Wellington could be in doubt, following Friday's earthquakes in the area.

A magnitude 6.2 earthquake has rocked the Central North Island.

Authorities said the earthquake had caused some minor damage in central Wellington.

The All Blacks are scheduled to play the Wallabies at Wellington's Westpac Stadium next Saturday.

The All Blacks meet the Wallabies in the opening match of the Southern Hemisphere tournament in Sydney on Saturday, with the return match in Wellington on August 24.

All events at the stadium this weekend have been cancelled, with the venue needing to pass inspections in order to be cleared to host the test.

"We will have engineers through doing inspections as soon as we can, so we can have sign off for the test,'' marketing manager Steven Thompson told Fairfax Media.

The process used was the same one for the previous earthquake, he said.

The 34 500 capacity stadium will be closed until the structural checks have been carried out over the weekend.

Events scheduled for this weekend at the stadium, which sits on the northern boundary of the central business district, have been cancelled.

Central New Zealand has been rattled by hundreds of aftershocks since a 6.9 earthquake struck on July 21, causing minor damage to towns, cities and infrastructure but no fatalities.

Friday's shallow earthquake emanated from close to the original earthquake's epicentre, with dozens of aftershocks felt since the 6.5 shake. The strongest aftershock measured 5.8.

Sources: Newstalk ZB  & Reuters

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