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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Big jolt hits city

Big jolt hits city

Last updated 18:00 16/04/2011
BREAKING NEWS: A magnitude 5.3 earthquake hit Christchurch at 5:49pm this evening.

The jolt was centred 10km north-east of Diamond Harbour at a depth of 11km.

Loss of power has been reported in areas such as Huntsbury, Addington and St Martins.

Orion chief executive Roger Sutton said due to violent shaking power sub stations had automatically shut down.

"When they think they're in danger they shut down to minimise damage.

"We're doing checks at the moment and hope to have all power supply restored within an hour."

Inspector Alan Weston said police had received around four calls but no major damage has been reported.

"There's been some more rockfalls in the Sumner area and water pipes have burst in New Brighton but the council are dealing with that."

The shake was followed by a magnitude 3.4 at 5:59pm at a depth of 8km and within 5km of Lyttelton.

Dixie McGregor, who works at the Pegasus Arms on Oxford Tce said emergency services had been mobilised.

"We've got a pub full of people but it's OK here but all I can see outside is the Army and police. Some ambulances have left the hospital too - here we go again."

Comments on social networking site Facebook include, "Is everyone OK? I don't know how much more of this my nerves can take."

One Twitter user said, "TV fell down in that one but it's still going so everything is fine!"

At least 100 'felt it' reports have been recorded on GNS Science.

Press reporter Martin van Beynen, who lives in Diamond Harbour, said the shaking of his weatherboard house was the most violent since the February 22 earthquake.

"We had just picked up our daughter Ella from the airport. She is at school in Auckland because of the earthquake. What a welcome home.''

Kirk Hargreaves, also in Diamond Harbour, said the shaking was as bad as anything he had felt since the February quake.

"My 10-year-old daughter, who was at school in Lyttelton on February 22, and I rushed for the door jamb. She was a bit freaked out.''

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