Monday, June 13, 2011

New earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand, of magnitude 6

Christchurch, second city in New Zealand already hit by two earthquakes over the last ten months, was rocked Monday, June 13 by a series of earthquakes, which, according to initial reports, have only wounded. The city shook to the mid-day due to a quake of magnitude 5.2 with an epicenter 10 km from Christchurch and a depth of 11 km.

A few minutes later, another earthquake occurred, more violent, of magnitude 6, with an epicenter 14 km from the city and a depth of 11 km. "It was a nasty jolt. People will be shocked," said Mayor Bob Parker. Emergency services responded immediately, but it is too early to confirm whether there were injuries, "he added.

A building collapsed in downtown, largely deserted since the earthquake of 22 February, but nobody was found under the rubble, said to a spokesman of the police. The second quake, of magnitude 6 has prompted police to evacuate part of what is called "red zone" in the center of the city.

Police have asked residents to check their neighbors and loved ones are healthy and recommends that people stay home. But many were left outside, to visit their relatives or try to return home. The electricity company Orion said 54,000 homes were without power. Christchurch has been the scene of two major earthquakes in recent months: February 22, an earthquake of 6.3 magnitude has killed 181 people, making it the deadliest earthquake in the country for eighty years.

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