Two earthquakes that hit near Wellington have threatened the staging of next weekend's Rugby Championship clash between New Zealand and Australia.
The BBC reports that a quake with a magnitude of 6.5 struck close to the South Island town of Seddon in the early hours and was followed by a 5.7 aftershock. Power cuts were reported and transport services were also briefly suspended with the stadium closed as a precaution ahead of further checks.
New Zealand experiences more than 14,000 earthquakes a year with only a small number exceeding a magnitude of 5.0 and stadium representatives moved quickly to clarify the situation.
"Following this afternoon's earthquake, the Stadium has been closed until engineering checks can be completed over the weekend and Monday," they said via Twitter. "This is the same process we undertook after the July earthquake...However, there is nothing to suggest that next weekend's Bledisloe Cup match will be impacted at this stage."
SANZAR boss Greg Peters told NewsCorp Australia that his organisation would monitor the situation and work with the New Zealand Rugby Union should there be a need to move the match. "At this stage it's probably nothing to worry about until they have conducted an inspection," Peters said. "They should do everything to ensure the safety of the spectators. It is way too early to be speculating on alternative venues."
Following this afternoon's earthquake, the Stadium has been closed until engineering checks can be completed over the weekend and Monday— Westpac Stadium (@WestpacStadium) August 16, 2013