A house stands damaged at Shag Rock near Sumner after the cliff fell away during two magnitude 6.0 and 5.5 earthquakes struck on June 13, 2011 in Christchurch, New Zealand. The aftershocks have followed four months after the major earthquake which hit the city on February 22, 2011 resulting in the deaths of 181 people. (Photo by Martin Hunter/Getty Images)
The Australian newspaper reports:
A number of roads, bridges and all schools are closed in Christchurch, as the New Zealand city once again wakes to the destruction caused by earthquakes.
Aftershocks, including a 4.7 magnitude quake, rattled the city overnight, following magnitude 5.5 and 6.0 earthquakes that struck yesterday.
No-one was killed but hospitals have been treating people for injuries caused by falling debris.
An estimated 20,000 residents have no power and some are without water.
Seismologists said that aftershocks in the magnitude 4 to 5 range could continue for days.
A huge pall of dust hung like a shroud over the centre of the country's second-largest city, most of which had been destroyed by the February 22 earthquake that measured magnitude-6.3. Terrified residents held onto one another in the streets and wept as the quakes struck the city in rapid succession.
The first earthquake, measuring magnitude-4.3, struck just before lunchtime and was followed by a magnitude-5.5 tremor at 1pm (11am AEST), which was centred 10km southeast of Christchurch at a depth of just under 11km. Eight minutes later, another tremor measuring magnitude-4.4 struck in the same place and at the same depth.
The largest aftershock struck about 2.20pm local time and was felt as far as Wellington on the North Island. The GNS Science website put the quake at magnitude-6, at a depth of 9km, and centred 10km southeast of Christchurch.
At least 10 people were taken to Christchurch Hospital with injuries caused by falling masonry after the 1pm quake, but there have been no reports of deaths.
Two demolition workers were rescued from the collapsed St John's Church near the central business district and there were fears for others who had been working amid the rubble of the previous earthquake.
Many buildings, including the Canterbury University and the newly formed Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority, were evacuated along with a shopping mall and a supermarket. Others, including the cathedral partially destroyed in the February quake, collapsed further. Members of the Civil Defence who had set up headquarters at the Christchurch Art Gallery were forced to flee after it shook so violently that those inside feared the glass windows that make up most of the building would shatter.
After the final, magnitude-6 quake struck, Bob Parker, the mayor of Christchurch, said: "We are being enveloped by dust. It's very, very scary. It's just terrible. I've never seen swaying like that," he said of an apartment block. Mr Parker told Radio NZ: "I am very, very concerned about our teams that have gone in there to check that people are out."
Yesterday's quakes were the latest in a series of strong tremors that have hit the stricken city since the February quake, which left 100,000 homes damaged, 10,000 beyond repair. More than 900 buildings in the city centre alone are expected to be demolished.
An inquest into the collapse of the CTV building during the February earthquake, which killed more than 100 people, was briefly evacuated during the lunchtime quakes. Jarrod Booker, a reporter with The New Zealand Herald who was in the building covering the inquest, said the ground began shaking severely and moving from "side-to-side".
"People started running out of the building, they were quite frightened," he said.
The repeated aftershocks have left nerves shattered; thousands of residents have left the city, many of them permanently.
Eleanor Stewart, 82, who is waiting for her apartment to be repaired after it was nearly destroyed in February, said: "Every time there is another strong quake like these you wonder if they will ever be able to start the repair work."
Emergency crews raced to the city centre to assess the damage and check for casualties, while at least 54,000 homes and offices were left without power or phones. Television footage showed thick, swirling mud pouring down streets as liquefaction once more broke through the surface, closing roads in the centre while falling boulders threatened houses on the city's outskirts.
Prime Minister John Key said the latest quakes would not weaken the government's resolve to rebuild the city. "We stand beside them; we are committed to rebuilding the city," Mr Key said.
The TimesSo dear readers our friends across the Tasman are in need of warm quilts, knitted beanies, gloves, mittens and scarves as many are again without power and heating. If you have finished quilts or knitted items you can post them to Cat at:
Cat was visiting Christchurch to deliver quilts when the latest earthquake started so she has first hand knowledge of our frightening they can be and the fact that they have been a regular occurrence makes them more rather than less frightening as you never know if this tremor will bring substantially more damage.
If you wish to post directly to Christchurch you can post them directly to Miriam (Miriam attends a Church in the Eastern Suburbs so has connections of people in the harder hit areas) at :
Comfort For Christchurch, c/- 39 Sandwich Rd, Beckenham, Christchurch 8023, New Zealand.
I had a phone call last night from a lovely lady who has made 5 quilts to donate to either Qld or Christchurch and she wants to make a couple more before the next shipment goes. I assured her that a shipment leaves here every week or every second week and that although the last lot has just gone to Qld, the next one there will be in about 4 weeks time and I'm currently working for Christchurch as well as making quilts for kids who have been neglected or abused.
So dear friends if you have any spare time I am accepting any donations again as the need continues to be great and I have managed to use up almost 300 QAYG squares in the past 10 days. I also have some ideas for small gifts which will be given to the homeless at Christmas time and I'll post details about that soon.
So in the meantime keep the knitting needles busy. I can send things to Qld for free so I'm happy to accept donations and pass them on; and if you have any finished items, please consider posting them direct to Cat or Miriam for Christchurch.
I'm showing a photo of a QAYG quilt I made today and this one will be going to Christchurch very soon when I get more finished to send too.
Thanks you again for all your help. These projects wouldn't be possible without all of your help from around the world.
Hugs and blessings, Jan Mac