Quake shakes NZ, caus­ing mi­nor dam­age

The Pak Banker - - 6i Nternational -

WELLING­TON: Ma­sonry and glass rained down near post-Christ­mas shop­pers as a mag­ni­tude 4.9 earth­quake rocked Christchurch on New Zealand's South Is­land on Sun­day.

No one was in­jured, but at least 20 build­ings in the city's cen­ter were dam­aged by the tem­blor, which sci­en­tists said was the lat­est of hun­dreds of af­ter­shocks since a 7.1 mag­ni­tude earth­quake struck Christchurch on Sept. 4. That quake caused ex­ten­sive dam­age and a hand­ful of in­juries, but no deaths.

Sun­day's tem­blor also came a few hours af­ter a mag­ni­tude 7.3 earth­quake struck un­der the sea near Van­u­atu. There were no re­ports of dam­age or in­juries from that quake, though it gen­er­ated a small tsunami wave.

New Zealand and Van­u­atu are sit­u­ated on the Pa­cific "ring of fire" - an arc of earth­quake and vol­canic zones stretch­ing from Chile in South Amer­ica through Alaska and down through the South Pa­cific.

The quake struck Christchurch in the late morn­ing as shop­pers thronged cen­tral city streets to take ad­van­tage of tra­di­tional Boxing Day sales. Al­though ma­sonry and glass fell across side­walks, no one was hurt, ac­cord­ing to po­lice.

Large parts of the cen­tral busi­ness district were cor­doned off af­ter the quake and power was cut tem­po­rar­ily.

Mon­i­tor­ing agency GNS Sci­ence said the quake oc­curred at 10:30 a.m. within 3 miles (5 kilo­me­ters) of Christchurch at a depth of 8 miles (12 kilo­me­ters).

It was the largest of more than a dozen af­ter­shocks that rat­tled Christchurch through­out Sun­day. Sci­en­tists said the tem­blors were re­lated to the Septem­ber quake and could con­tinue for some time.

Ear­lier on Sun­day, a 5.9 mag­ni­tude quake was felt across New Zealand's North Is­land, but no dam­age or in­juries were re­ported. The quake was cen­tered north of vol­canic White Is­land off New Zealand's east coast.

New Zealand sits above an area where two tec­tonic plates col­lide. -Ap

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