UPDATED — Two large earthquakes have rattled Christchurch New Zealand this afternoon. GeoNet says the quake was 5.5 on the Richter Scale and was just 11kms deep.
It was centred 10 kms east of Christchurch and struck at 1pm, Monday NZT.
It was shortly followed by a 4.4 quake at 1:08pm 10kms south east of Christchurch at the same depth.
But a bigger earthquake measuring 6 has just hit and many are saying it has caused more damage than the February earthquake. The quake was at 2:25 and was felt from Invercargill to Wellington in the North Island.
Fairfax is reporting that Police say a building on the corner of Stanmore and Worcester Street has collapsed and people were feared trapped inside.
Rocks have again come down in the suburb of Sumner according to freelance journalist Adrienne Rewi via Twitter. NZHerald.co.nz describes it as a “large chunk of a cliff” coming off in Sumner.
Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker said the earthquake felt at least as powerful as the February 22 quake, but much shorter in duration, accord to NZHerald.co.nz.
Items have been knocked off shelves in Christchurch and Rangiora to the north and power is out to 10,000 customers in the east. Liquefaction has also been reported.
University of Canterbury and Riccarton Mall have both been evacuated.
The quake has been widely felt across Canterbury with reports coming in of it being felt in Dunedin and on the West Coast.
TVNZ reporter Joy Reid says people are congregating outside. “Many office buildings evacuated. Phone problems post quake” she wrote in a Twitter update a short time ago.
Phones appear to be out across the city. Telecom NZ says they’re “assessing any potential network impact from Chch #eqnz aftershock”.
TelstraClear says “there were 10 roadside cabinets that’ve lost mains power & various services down due to loss of power, please keep lines free”.
WeatherWatch.co.nz has not been able to make contact with our Christchurch staff.