Powerful quake rattles New Zealand city

Reuters News
Posted: Jun 14, 2011 4:15 AM
Powerful quake rattles New Zealand city

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - A magnitude 5.5 tremor rattled the quake-prone New Zealand city of Christchurch on Monday, sending people fleeing from buildings, and boulders tumbling down hillsides.

Police said there were no initial reports of injuries from the quake, which comes almost four months after a magnitude 6.1 earthquake killed 181 people and caused extensive damage across the city.

Local media reported that the quake sent people running into the streets, with buildings such as supermarkets and shopping malls being evacuated.

The magnitude 5.5 quake struck at 1 p.m. local time (9 p.m. ET) and was located 10 km (6 mile) south-east of the central city at a depth of 11 kilometers.

As with the initial quake, Monday's aftershock sent boulders on the city's Port Hills tumbling toward housing, while parts of the eastern city were flooded.

Christchurch has experienced a number of strong earthquakes since a magnitude 7.1 quake struck the city on Sept 4 last year.

The city has also been shaken by three other quakes registering at least 4.3 since 0029 GMT.

(Reporting by Adrian Bathgate; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)

What’s the Matter with California?