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Powerful quake rocks New Zealand`s Christchurch

Last Updated: Friday, December 23, 2011 - 08:43

Wellington: The earthquake-devastated New
Zealand city of Christchurch was rocked by a powerful 5.8
magnitude tremor on Friday forcing evacuations from buildings,
residents said.

New Zealand`s second largest city was hit by a
6.3-magnitude quake in February, killing 181 people and
destroying much of the downtown area.

Government seismologists measured the latest shake at
magnitude 5.8 and said it struck at 1:58pm (0058 GMT) eight
kilometres deep.

Local news media reported people fleeing into the streets
with fear on their faces as the quake followed by four strong
aftershocks rattled the city.

Shopping malls were vacated and Television New Zealand
said the international airport was shut down.

Telephone services and electricity supplies were
disrupted but police said there were no immediate reports of
structural damage.

Christchurch resident Jo Davis told News channel her
neighbours were screaming.

"I was terrified, I guess just because it`s been so long
since we`ve had a decent one. We`ve had a TV and glasses fall
over but no repeat of liquefaction (when earth becomes fluid)
like in June so I guess it`s not so bad."

Scientists warned last month of an increased probability
that another powerful earthquake would hit Christchurch.

New Zealand sits on the so-called "Ring of Fire" the
boundary of the Australian and Pacific tectonic plates, and
experiences up to 15,000 tremors a year.


First Published: Friday, December 23, 2011 - 08:43
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