Note aftershocks ranging from 5.6 to 4.5 have also been felt in the last few hours. Here is a list of quakes.
We wish our Kiwi friends well, and hope that the quake is not as bad as first reports indicate.
WELLINGTON, New Zealand — A 6.3-magnitude earthquake Tuesday rocked the southern New Zealand city of Christchurch, collapsing buildings, cracking streets and causing multiple fatalities and serious injuries.
The nation’s leader, Prime Minister John Key, said at least 65 had died as a result of the disaster and told reporters in the stricken city that the death toll was expected to rise further.
Live video footage showed streets strewn with bricks and shattered concrete. Sidewalks and roads were cracked and split, and hundreds of dazed, screaming and crying residents wandered as sirens blared throughout the city. Bodies were being pulled from rubble. Water mains burst, causing extensive flooding.
“There have been fatalities,” John Hamilton, the head of New Zealand’s civil defense, told reporters. “We can’t confirm the numbers yet, we’ll leave that to the police process to go through.”
New Zealand police said in a statement that there were reports of multiple deaths, including a report that two buses had been crushed by falling buildings. The police statement said there were other reports of fires burning.
The epicenter of the quake was located in the “worst possible location” for city residents, New Zealand’s GeoNet Center data manager Kevin Fenaughty told the New Zealand Herald.
From comments, link to a photogallery here
|Depth||5 km (3.1 miles)|
|Region||SOUTH ISLAND OF NEW ZEALAND|
|Distances||NEAR Christchurch, New Zealand
225 km (140 miles) SSE of Westport, New Zealand
305 km (190 miles) SSW of WELLINGTON, New Zealand
310 km (190 miles) NE of Dunedin, New Zealand
|Location Uncertainty||horizontal +/- 12.2 km (7.6 miles); depth +/- 0.6 km (0.4 miles)|
|Parameters||Nph= 0, Dmin=0 km, Rmss=0.98 sec, Gp= 0,
M-type=”moment” magnitude from initial P wave (tsuboi method) (Mi/Mwp), Version=D