Powerful aftershock rattles NZ city

Powerful tremor causes further damage and chaoes in the quake-hit city of Christchurch.

    The powerful earthquake last week resulted in extensive damage to buildings across Christchurch [EPA]

    A powerful aftershock has struck the city of Christchurch in New Zealand, sending residents rushing into the streets, cutting power supplies and bringing down loose material from already damaged buildings.

    The 5.0 magnitude aftershock struck just below the surface at 7:49 am on Wedneday (1949 GMT)prompting the government to extend a state of emergency.

    According to seismologists, the latest quake was just one kilometre deep and much closer to the city centre than Saturday's quake, which caused billions of dollars of damage.

    The city's civil defence headquarters and a welfare centre sheltering people made homeless in Saturday's tremor were temporarily evacuated.

    An estimated 1,000 motorists in a 1.9km tunnel linking Christchurch to the nearby port of Lyttleton received a scare when the aftershock opened up cracks in the structure.

    The civil defence ministry said a state of emergency in Christchurch due to expire at midday on Wednesday (0000 GMT) had been extended for another week.

    John Key, the prime minister, said while authorities were keen for the city and surrounding areas to return to normal as soon as possible, public safety remained the top priority.

    'Terrfying moment'

    "As this disaster unfolds what we're seeing is some areas are much more badly affected than we thought they were and, in fact, the damage is much greater than we thought it was," he told reporters durig a visit to some of the region's worst-hit areas.

    Bob Parker, the mayor of Christchurch said the intensity of the latest quake reduced many emergency workers to tears.

    "It was a devastatingly, vicious sharp blow to the city," he told local radio.

    "This was a terrifying moment."

    The latest quake came as staff were making their way to work at the few shops and companies in the inner city which have been able to open this week.

    They were immediately told to leave.

    There were no deaths in Saturday's powerful quake.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Venezuela in default: What next?

    Venezuela in default: What next?

    As the oil-rich country fails to pay its debt, we examine what happens next and what it means for its people.

    The Muslims of South Korea

    The Muslims of South Korea

    The number of Muslims in South Korea is estimated to be around 100,000, including foreigners.

    What is Mohammed bin Salman's next move?

    What is Mohammed bin Salman's next move?

    There are reports Saudi Arabia is demanding money from the senior officials it recently arrested.