A strong earthquake has rattled the New Zealand city of Christchurch, causing panic among residents. The 5.0 magnitude shake was the most powerful the city has felt since the 7.0 quake on September 4 that wrecked thousands of buildings and tore rifts through farmland and roads.
The shallow quake was among almost 2,000 aftershocks that have frazzled nerves in the South Island's biggest city, but geologists said the effect was magnified because it was centred only six miles to the southwest of Christchurch, Telegraph.co.uk reports.
The quake - another of the large aftershocks continuing to rattle Canterbury since the 7.1 magnitude quake on September 4 - was preceded by two aftershocks this morning and followed by two more, with the latest being a 3.8 magnitude shake, which hit at 1.24pm and was centred 20km southwest of Christchurch at a depth of 5km.
Police had been called to four quake-related incidents, but had not received any reports of injuries, Canterbury district commander Superintendant Dave Cliff told NZPA.
Officers were present at Riccarton Mall, where the building had been partially evacuated after the roof reportedly collapsed in places, according to New Zealand Herald.