New Zealand Earthquake 2011

December 23, 2011 by staff 

New Zealand Earthquake 2011, A pair of 5.8-magnitude earthquakes struck near the New Zealand city of Christchurch Friday afternoon, causing widespread damage and sparking evacuations of the city’s international airport and major shopping centers.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) reported the first quake hit at a depth of 2.9 miles about 16 miles east-northeast of Christchurch at 1:58pm local time.

The second quake was reported at the same location, at a depth of three miles and followed a series of strong aftershocks that included a 5.3-magnitude tremor.

There was no tsunami warning issued after either quake.

Qantas flight QF45 from Sydney was diverted to Wellington following the evacuation of the Christchurch International Airport.

The series of shakes were the largest to hit the region in about three months and come 10 months after more than 180 people were killed when a large quake hit the South Island city in February. That earthquake followed a 7.0-magnitude earthquake which struck in September, 2010.

A police statement issued after Friday’s second 5.8-magnitude quake said reports indicated that had been no serious injuries as a result. However, one person was hospitalized after being injured at a suburban shopping mall.

Other shopping centers were evacuated after items fell off shelves during the quake.

Police said reports of damage included the collapse of two buildings — a vacant house and a partly-demolished building — and major holes opening on Broadhaven Avenue in the city’s northeastern suburbs.

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