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Strong quake strikes near Christchurch, New Zealand


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(CNN) -- An earthquake that struck New Zealand on Saturday caused "a lot of damage," though there are no reports of serious injuries or major damage, an emergency official said.


"It was like a freight train running through the house," said Chris Monroe, operations manager for the New Zealand Fire Service.


The quake had a magnitude of 7.0, down from an initial assessment of 7.4, the U.S. Geological Survey said. It struck about four miles from Christchurch, a city of about 380,000 people.


An aftershock with a magnitude of 5.7 struck not far from the epicenter about 20 minutes later, the survey said.


Power was out to much of Christchurch "because of extensive damage there," Radio New Zealand reported.


One person said the quake "turned his house upside down, with crockery breaking," the station reported, citing Orion, a power company. Sewer lines and water pipes have ruptured, a company spokesman told the station.

"Structural damage to houses and broken glass have been reported throughout Christchurch," the station said.


A man who was at the international airport in Christchurch described the scene.


"The entire terminal started shaking," he said. "I knew it was an earthquake.There was not much you could do at that point."

Authorities evacuated the airport, he said, adding that he saw minor damage.

"We've just had a terrible earthquake," said Paula May, a Christchurch resident. "We have no power. Lots of stuff in the house is all over the floor. All the power is down, so I can't see anything. There's no power in the town."

A person who answered the phone at the George hotel in Christchurch said that "we are cleaning up at the present moment" but wouldn't disclose any more detail.


Reinier Eulink, general manager of the Holiday Inn in Christchurch, said there's damage around the hotel corridors and "big cracks in the walls."


"It was a big big long jolt, and the building moved a lot," he said. The 13-floor building, with about 150 rooms, was about 40 percent occupied, and he estimated that 80 or more people were staying at the hotel at the time.

Power was knocked out, but emergency power came on. People were milling around in the hotel lobby, trying to get warm during the chilly Southern Hemisphere winter.


"My room is totally upside down," Eulink said.


A Christchurch Hospital shift manager said there are injuries and damage from the quake.

"We are in emergency planning at the moment," he said.


The quake was 7 miles deep. It struck at 4:35 a.m. Saturday (12:35 p.m. ET Friday), the survey reported.


The quake is not likely to generate a tsunami, according to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.











7 is a lot, I don't know if the buildings there are prepared for that. Hope Eddie is ok!

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New Zealand earthquake as described in Danish newspaper on 5.9.10


Article in Berlingske Tidende / [email protected] (a Danish newspaper) on 5 September 2010 in relation to the New Zealand earthquake:




Damage to the value of several billion after a powerful earthquake in New Zealand's second largest city, CHRISTCHURCH. No report of casualties.

Ritzau's Bureau (RB)


Christchurch: A powerful earthquake in the city of Christchurch in New Zealand has resulted in damage to the value of more than 10 billion of DKK - according to the first estimates from New Zealand's authorities.


A minister calls it a stroke of luck that noone died due to the earthquake which was measured at magnitude 7.0 on the Richter scale.


In spite of substantial material damage, only two out of the city's 340,000 inhabitants have been reported seriously injured. A man was hit by a falling chimney, and another one cut himself on glass flying through the air.


The powerful tremors occurred early Saturday morning local time before sunrise and made terrified inhabitants run out of their houses.


Not until by daylight was it possible to estimate the damage which turned out to be worse than initially assumed. The mayor of the city, Bob Parker says that he is "terrified of the extent of damage".


"There is not a house or a family in our city not having - in some way - experienced damage to their person or property", Parker said to New Zealand radio.


"It is like an iceberg. Underneath the visible limit, there is substantial, structural devastation".


Only few people were on the street as the quake occurred. House fronts fell down destroying parked cars and scattering broken glass over the streets. The distribution of electricity / power and gas was disconnected in most of the city.


"I think that, as a nation, we have been extremely lucky that noone died; in fact we are blessed", says the minister for New Zealand's civil defence, John Carter.


The authorities have warned the inhabitants against coming too close to destroyed buildings, because aftershocks may cause more collapses of buildings.


The epicentre of the quake which occurred at 04:35 local time (13:35 Central European Time) was about 45 km west of Christchurch.



I have read that the magnitude of the New Zealand earthquake was 7.4 and 7.0 and in post 1 here it says 7.1.


But glad that noone seems to have been killed due to the earthquake.

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BBC article on 5.9.10 in relation to New Zealand earthquake


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-11191105 / 5 september 2010 Last updated at 07:03 GMT




Officials in New Zealand have been evaluating the damage caused in the city of Christchurch by an earthquake and its many aftershocks.


Prime Minister John Key said at least 90 buildings suffered significant damage and many of them would probably have to be knocked down.


An overnight curfew has been lifted, but the centre of the city remains cordoned off, Radio New Zealand said.


Mr Key said a STORM heading towards the city could cause further damage.


The mayor of the city, Bob Parker, described the DAMAGE as IMMENSE, and a STATE OF EMERGENCY has been declared.


He said it was an "absolute miracle" that no-one had died.


There are thousands of earthquakes in New Zealand every year but very few do any damage.




The earthquake struck New Zealand's South Island in the early hours of Saturday morning, when most people were asleep.


The epicentre was 20km (13 miles) west of Christchurch, according to New Zealand's government-owned research organisation GNS Science.


New Zealand's Civil Defence estimated that more than 500 buildings had been damaged in the region.


Power has largely been restored in Christchurch, but large parts of the city still have no running water.


Those with running water have been warned not to drink it because of contamination from broken sewage pipes.


You have to boil your water very carefully," resident Oriana Toasland told the BBC. "You're not allowed to flush the toilet because there's problems with the sewers. So we don't know how long this is going to go on for as well."


During the night following the earthquake, 19 AFTERSHOCKS were reported by the GeoNet website.


One family in Darfield, near the epicentre of the quake, reported spending the night under their dining table.


Two men were seriously injured by falling masonry and glass, but there have been no reports of fatalities.


New Zealand lies at the southern end of the so-called PACIFIC RING OF FIRE, and above an area of the Earth's crust where the PACIFIC PLATE CONVERGES WITH the INDO-AUSTRALIAN PLATE.


The country experiences more than 14,000 earthquakes a year, of which only around 20 have a magnitude in excess of 5.0.


The last fatal earthquake was in 1968, when a 7.1-magnitude tremor killed three people on the South Island's western coast.


From other news sites


Reuters UK: Gales, aftershocks shake quake hit New Zealand city


Sky News: NZ Quake Zone Hit By Aftershocks And Winds


Daily Star: Quake rocks N Zealand South Island


Telegraph: Curfew declared in New Zealand


Guardian.co.uk: New Zealand earthquake: Curfew imposed by Christchurch police

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  • 5 months later...

Another strong quake just hit Christchurch :( they've been battered by aftershocks but this has been the biggest. widespread damage.

[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BfcWraeZvcw]YouTube - Major Earthquake has hit Christchurch, New Zealand[/ame]



There were no real injuries in the first quake but there are reports of many today :(

Really sad stuff. I have a few good friends down there. Hope they're alright.

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