PHOTOS (59) of Canterbury quake
Reports are flooding in of items falling over, minor damage and buildings evacuated in Christchurch, New Zealand, following a strong, shallow, quake late this morning NZT.
10,000 customers in the CBD lost power for around 15 minutes following the quake while phone lines also were cut.
The Riccarton Mall was evacuated after parts of the ceiling broke free (see photo below).
There are reports of a Countdown supermarket being evacuated after items started falling off the shelves.
Residents are telling WeatherWatch.co.nz that the quake felt as big as September’s 7.1 quake but that it was much shorter – going for around 15 to 20 seconds.
Civil Defence Communications Manager Vince Cholewa told the NZ Herald the quake would have been felt on the ground as a magnitude 7 earthquake.
The quake has been widely felt.
It is unclear if there has been any structural damage to buildings.
Flights were delayed landing at Christchurch airport while engineers checked the airport’s runway for cracks. Flights were placed in a holding pattern and asked to circle the airport until the full clearance to land is given.
Twitter user and aviation photographer @MichaelRistNZ told @PhilipDuncan that the “runways fine, Singapore Airlines took off also had a number of landings/takeoffs post shake.Runway checked & fully functional”.
An airline spokeswoman doubts any flights will be diverted and told WeatherWatch.co.nz that the airport remains open.
Twitter user DaveMRichards “Westfield Riccarton evacuated, bits of ceiling plaster came down. Felt massive”.
WeatherWatch.co.nz weather analyst Richard Green, who lives near the epicentre of the big September 4th earthquake, also says this has been the scariest one since.
“It was violent and the power has gone off. My wife who works in the city centre says they have been evacuated and people are clearly scared”.
Mr Green says it appears to be felt hardest in Christchurch city.
Newstalk ZB reporter, Jo Scott, says there hasn’t been an aftershock as big for some time.
GeoNet confirms the quake was 5.0 but Mr Green says it certainly felt more like a 6.0.
It was just 10kms from the CBDm and just 9kms deep..
Twitter users are also saying the quake felt much bigger than 5.0.
Twitter users are now coming home to find broken items in their houses.
on 19/10/2010 12:05am
A lot of people think it felt as bad as the 7.1 – I had things fall over in the house that have not toppled since that one. The barometer is dropping fairly rapidly and it’s warm and still – that typical CHCH norwester that my mother used to call Earthquake Weather 40 years ago!
on 18/10/2010 11:13pm
…that was an interesting experience … picking some lettuce in the vegetable garden for a sandwich and a few carrots for the bunny, after having watered the garden, when I heard the garage rattling. ..looked up, then felt the ground started to roll in waves – you could actually see it, not violent, but the whole thing lasted about 12 to 15 secs.
So, I have been caught out, so far, in the ‘loo’ and now the garden…..shower must be next!
….8 – D
..weather was cloudy with a light northerly, and a pleasant 19 deg C