Saturday, April 16, 2011

Big aftershock rocks N. Zealand's quake-hit Christchurch

Posted: 16 April 2011 1508 hrs

WELLINGTON: A strong 5.2-magnitude aftershock rocked the quake-shattered New Zealand city of Christchurch Saturday and cut power to several areas, but there were no immediate reports of damage, officials said.

New Zealand's second largest city remains devastated following a 6.3-magnitude earthquake in February which claimed 181 lives, and followed a stronger, but less destructive 7.1 quake last September.

The latest tremor hit at 5:49pm (0549GMT) and was centred 16 kilometres (10 miles) west of the city at a depth of nine kilometres, the US Geological Survey said.

Power was cut in several areas of the city, but Roger Sutton, chief executive of power company Orion, said this was because the substations had automatically shut down when the quake hit.

He said that electricity supplies would be restored within an hour as soon as checks were carried out.


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