Series of quakes rock Christchurch, at least 10 injured

13:06, June 13, 2011      

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At least 10 people were reported injured and emergency services rescued two trapped people after a series of quakes rocked New Zealand's second city of Christchurch Monday.

The government-run GeoNet recorded seven tremors between 12:29 p.m. and 3:38 p.m., with the most violent being a magnitude 6.0 tremor at a depth of 9 km, centered about 10 km southeast of the city, at 2.20 p.m..

The second worst was a magnitude 5.5 quake 11 km deep at 1 p.m., about 10 km east of the city.

Police have evacuated the central city, and schools, shops and other buildings have been closed.

The National Crisis Management Centre said 10 people were injured, but there were no fatalities reported.

Electricity supplies to about 10,000 homes in the east of the city had been cut, although power company officials said they hoped to have power restored by the end of the day.

The Christchurch urban search and rescue team was deployed.

Two people were rescued from a damaged church in the city's Latimer Square. Another building had reportedly collapsed completely, but nobody was thought to be inside it.

The earthquake started at least one fire and caused several rockfalls, flooding and liquefaction.

Police said four bridges were closed and fire services were investigating a report of a gas leak.

The quake brought down power lines and burst sewer and water pipes.

Christchurch City Council said a large dust cloud was hanging over the city's Mount Pleasant area.

The council advised residents to limit their travel and stay indoors.

It also asked them to conserve water and to use emergency water supplies.

Source: Xinhua
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