" /> " allowfullscreen="true">

A 7.1-magnitude earthquake that struck New Zealand before dawn on Saturday morning appears to have caused no deaths and few injuries, none of them serious.

John Carter, the country's civil defence minister, said his country was "blessed" to have escaped with such comparatively light harm.

John Key, the prime minister, said New Zealand seemed to have benefitted from a "miracle" but put early estimates for the cost of recovery at around $2bn.

Al Jazeera's Erica Wood reports.

Source: Al Jazeera