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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

5.3 quake rocks region

5.3 quake rocks region

Last updated 09:27 10/05/2011
Cantabrians were shaken awake by a magnitude-5.3 aftershock early this morning.

The quake hit at 3.04am at a depth of 15 kilometres and centred 20km west of Christchurch, around the Rolleston area.

Rolleston resident Darleen Smith said it was the most violent tremor she had felt since February 22.

"The house really moved.

"It was certainly a biggie and the biggest aftershock we have felt out here," she said.

Ornaments were knocked over and food was thrown from the shelves in her pantry, she said.

Stock was thrown onto the floor and smashed at the Rolleston New World supermarket.

Scan coordinator Nicky Macrae said 12 staff members arrived about 5am to help clean up the mess.

"There's probably a trolley-load of product that fell in every aisle.

"Oils, wine and bottles of drink all smashed on the floor. It was a real mess," she said.

The staff had cleaned the aisles by 8am to allow the supermarket to open.

Christchurch police said there had not yet been any reports of injuries or further damage.

The GeoNet website said the tremor was widely felt around the region. It also said there was "a possibility it caused minor damage".

Facebook users said the aftershock was felt as far away as Oamaru, Timaru and Cheviot.

The shake was followed by a magnitude-3.4 shock at 6.06am and a 4.1-magnitude tremor at 9.09am.

The former was centred 10km southwest of the city, around the Halswell area, at a depth of 5km.

The latter was almost identical to the earlier 5.3 shake, centred 20km west of the city, around Rolleston, at a depth of 15km.

Today's 3.04am aftershock was the eighth-equal largest earthquake since September 4.

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