May 24, 2019

Large 5.3 aftershock quake hits Christchurch

Christchurch looks peaceful from this distance, but on the ground everything is shaking - a lot.

A magnitude 5.3 earthquake has hit Christchurch at 1749 local time this evening.

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

The Strategy building in Victoria Street tilted during the tremor and several nearby roads had been closed to the public, Civil Defence said.

There are reports of rock slides in Sumner and large areas without electricity. Although Orion Chief Executive Roger Sutton says that many of the sub-stations shutdown automatically with the violent shaking.

“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,” Mr Sutton said. Around 20,000 homes have lost power.

So far there are no reports of significant damage or casualties.

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.”

Numerous calls have been made to the fire services. Shops have reported stock shaken from shelves.

More to follow.