New Zealand, Wellington: Today, a 5.8-magnitude earthquake hits the New Zealand city of Christchurch, seismologists said, sending goods flying off shelves. GeoNet Science, the official New Zealand earthquake monitoring service, warned of aftershocks following the “severe intensity” quake.
Sirens could be heard going off around the South Island city and at least one building was evacuated, according to media reports. People posted pictures on social media of a cliff face crumbling into the sea, however emergency services said there were no immediate reports of any structural damage to buildings.
The quake struck a week before the fifth anniversary of a deadly 6.3-tremor in Christchurch, which killed 185 in one of New Zealand’s deadliest disasters. The latest quake was measured at 5.8 by the US Geological Survey at a shallow depth of about eight kilometres and centred 17 kilometres west of the city. “This quake is too small to have caused a tsunami,” GeoNet spokeswoman Caroline Little said but added with such tremors “people and animals are alarmed, and many run outside. Walking steadily is difficult… objects fall from walls and shelves.”