New Zealand Rocked by 6.5 Earthquake

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Officials in central New Zealand are assessing the damage caused by a 6.5 magnitude earthquake that struck the nation Friday.

Police say homes and bridges near the epicenter are severely damaged, but no injuries have been reported.

Some buildings in the capital city of Wellington were evacuated and items were knocked off the shelves.

"We've certainly dodged a bullet," Vince Cholewa, a spokesman for the civil defense ministry, told CNN. "There are buildings that have lost some plaster. Some cracks in walls -- nothing major."

Officials say several people had to be rescued from elevators.

"It's very frightening," Cholewa said. "I was on the eighth floor of a building and it certainly wobbled quite well. I was under my desk well and truly."

New Zealand is part of the pacific Ring of Fire. In 2011, a deadly quake rocked the city of Christchurch, killing 185 people.

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