Massive 6.3 earthquake hits Otautahi

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(Source | NZ Herald) A huge earthquake has struck Canterbury with witnesses reporting the 6.3 magnitude quake felt more violent than the quake in September.

GNS Science said the quake was centred at Lyttelton at a depth of 5km.

Herald reporter Jarrod Booker said the shake lasted approximately a minute and was extremely violent – rocking buildings back and forth.

He said people had left buildings and were out on the streets where tarmac had cracked and water mains had burst, flooding the streets.

He said the carpark at the Christchurch Star had turned into a river with huge cracks and that the roads had risen in areas.

People were comforting people outside amid a general state of shock as people tried to absorb what had happened, he said.

Radio New Zealand reported widespread damage to the city centre, with a church on Durham St collapsed and concrete lifted by up to a metre.

A Newstalk ZB reporter in Christchurch said liquefaction was spewing out of the ground at St Albans High School.

School kids had to be removed from the fields with liquefaction also spewing from the tennis courts.

Phone lines are down and calls are not being connected to emergency services.

Twitter users have reported feeling the quake in Wellington and Dunedin.

Today’s quake was shallower and closer to Christchurch than the original Darfield quake, which took place 30km west of the city at a depth of 33kms.

More soon.

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