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  1. Earthquake in New Zealand: 5.8-magnitude quake rocks Christchurch region; cliff collapses in Whitewash Head

Earthquake in New Zealand: 5.8-magnitude quake rocks Christchurch region; cliff collapses in Whitewash Head

Earthquake in New Zealand: A magnitude-5.8 earthquake shook the New Zealand city of Christchurch on Sunday but there were no immediate reports of serious damage, nearly five years after a deadly, more powerful quake destroyed much of the city center.

By: | Updated: February 15, 2016 1:16 PM
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Earthquake in New Zealand: Dust and debris rise above houses after a cliff collapsed due to an earthquake on the Whitewash Head area, located above Scarborough Beach in the suburb of Sumner, Christchurch, New Zealand, February 14, 2016. A strong 5.8 magnitude earthquake struck near Christchurch in New Zealand on Sunday, causing cliffs to collapse into the sea but no major damage to the city, which was devastated by a 2011 quake which killed nearly 200 people. REUTERS

Earthquake in New Zealand: A magnitude-5.8 earthquake shook the New Zealand city of Christchurch on Sunday but there were no immediate reports of serious damage, nearly five years after a deadly, more powerful quake destroyed much of the city center. A cliff near the city of Christchurch collapsed on Sunday after the quake struck the South Island city.

The New Zealand government’s GeoNet monitoring service said the moderate quake was centred 15 km east of the city at a depth of 15 km, Xinhua reported. The US Geological Survey put the magnitude of the temblor at 5.8 with a relatively shallow depth of 8.2 km. Shallow earthquakes tend to be felt more strongly. No tsunami warning was issued.

Emergency services said part of a cliff collapsed in Sumner district in Christchurch. A video clip posted on the social media showed a huge dust cloud following the collapse. Police cordoned off nearby access to the fallen cliff and local electricity service said at least 450 homes were left without power.

The earthquake today in New Zealand came close to the anniversary of the Feb. 22, 2011, magnitude-6.3 temblor that leveled much of the center of New Zealand’s second largest city and killed 185 people.

Earthquake Minister Gerry Brownlee said he has not received reports of injuries or deaths and engineers were on the ground to assess any damage. “It’s clearly not a state of civil emergency at the present time,” he said.

The St. John ambulance service reported that several people had suffered minor injuries from falls as they ran from the quake.

The service of cable car in Christchurch was halted after the quake, according to Shu Pei, a Chinese resident in the city.

The University of Canterbury evacuated its Christchurch campus as part of normal safety precautions but there were no reports of damage, a spokesperson said.

The quake was strong enough to prompt some stores to evacuate customers and shake items from shelves. Police said there were some rockfalls on Scarborough Hill in the city’s east and were advising people to stay away from affected areas.

The quake today was one of the largest since 2011, and people from across the South Island reported feeling the ground shaking.

New Zealand sits on the ‘Ring of Fire’, an arc of seismic faults around the Pacific Ocean where earthquakes are common.

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Tags: Earthquake
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