Mitre Peak overlooking Milford Sound in New Zealand. Image Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Wellington: A magnitude 5.9 earthquake struck near Milford Sound in the southwest of New Zealand’s South Island on Thursday, government seismic monitor Geonet said.

Thousands of people in the area reported on Geonet to have felt the earthquake, which was very shallow at a depth of 5 kilometres, but there were no immediate reports of damages.

New Zealand lies on the seismically active “Ring of Fire”, a 40,000-km arc of volcanoes and ocean trenches girdling much of the Pacific Ocean.