May 9, 2021

Maori News & Indigenous Views

Huge 7.1 earthquake hits Otautahi (Christchurch)

2 min read

A massive earthquake has hit Otautahi (Christchurch) this morning at 4.35am. The quake measured 7.1 on therichter scale and is said to have thrown people out of their beds.

The quake was centred 33km west of the city but residents are reporting feeling the earthquake or aftershocks hundreds of kilometers away, with reports of the earthquake are coming in from as far afield as New Plymouth and Invercargill.

Power is out to most of Christchurch and rural Canterbury, and the central city has been closed down by police because of the amount of rubble in the streets. Water pipes have ruptured and there are reports of flooding in some eastern Christchurch areas.

As many as 1000 residents from Otautahi’s seaside suburbs may be evacuated due to flooding from broken water and sewage pipes. Civil Defence said a decision would be made shortly on whether to evacuate residents from New Brighton to Aranui or Linwood High Schools.

The following video shows some of the effects of the earthquake in a Christchurch home at 4.38am with a clearly frightened family in the home:

Emergency services have rescued about 10 people from holes in the ground including a person who was trapped in a pit in River Road after the ground collapsed.

The state ofemergency was declared shortly before 10am after Civil Defence Minister John Carter described the quake as a significant disaster. He urged people not to panic.

So far, two people have been reported seriously injured in the quake.

  • One man in his fifties was hit by a falling chimney and is now in a serious condition in the intensive care unit in Christchurch Hospital.
  • Another man in his fifties has serious injuries after being cut by glass in the earthquake.

Search and rescue teams have been deployed to the central city to check for trapped people in the rubble of the quake.

Wh?nau are asked to check on their neighbours and friends and unless seriously injured to stay away from Christchurch Hospital. People have been asked to use texts instead of calling and to hunker down in their homes for now. The CBD has been closed and services (power,water, etc.)are expected to take several days to be restored.

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