The Myanmar Times - - World -

that opened up in roads.

One per­son was be­lieved to have died at a home­stead that col­lapsed at the town, while po­lice were try­ing to reach the scene of a fa­tal­ity at a re­mote prop­erty north of Christchurch.

As hun­dreds of peo­ple pre­pared to spend the night in evac­u­a­tion cen­tres, res­cue work­ers were fac­ing de­te­ri­o­rat­ing weather con­di­tions.

Heavy rain in­creased the risk of more land­slides and strong winds made clean-up work hazardous.

The treach­er­ous con­di­tions tem­po­rar­ily blocked the Clarence River with de­bris, which then shifted to re­lease a “wall of wa­ter” down­stream and force more evac­u­a­tions.

The earth­quake struck early yes­ter­day and was 23 kilo­me­tres deep, the US Ge­o­log­i­cal Sur­vey said.

It was felt across most of the coun­try, caus­ing se­vere shak­ing in the cap­i­tal Wellington, about 250 kilo­me­tres (155 miles) away.

The quake ig­nited painful mem­o­ries for res­i­dents in nearby Christchurch, which was dev­as­tated five years ago by a 6.3 tremor that killed 185 peo­ple.

New Zealand is on the boundary of the Aus­tralian and Pa­cific tec­tonic plates, which form part of the so­called “Ring of Fire”, and ex­pe­ri­ences up to 15,000 tremors a year. –

Photo: AFP

New Zealand’s Prime Min­is­ter John Key (L) speaks to lo­cals in Kaik­oura on the South Is­land’s east coast yes­ter­day.

Photo: AFP

Res­cue work­ers in­spect build­ings in Wellington after the earth­quake yes­ter­day.

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