A strong earthquake, measuring 5.9 on the Richter scale, has shaken the Hawke's Bay region.

GeoNet Science reports the quake, which struck at 11.25pm and was centred 10km southwest of Hastings could be felt over a large area.

According to their website, due to the strength of the jolt there is likely to be damage in nearby towns such as Hastings, Napier and Havelock North.

Sergeant Heath Jones from Hastings police told RadioLIVE there might be power outages in the region, but police are not aware as yet of any major damage. The quake reportedly could be felt as far away as Wanganui.

There have been reports of broken windows, pictures being shaken off walls and water spilling out of swimming pools.

The focal depth of the quake was measured at 30km.

A second, weaker shake occured soon after at 11.35pm, measuring 3.5 at a depth of 40km.