Two quakes rock Christchurch

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>Wellington: Two earthquakes measuring 5.8 and 6.1 respectively on the Richter scale shook New Zealand’s South Island city of Christchurch on Friday, authorities said.

The New Zealand government geological agency GNS Sciences said the first quake, measuring 5.8 on the Richter Scale, struck at 1.58 p.m., local time. The epicenter was located 20 km northeast of Lyttelton and 8 km deep.

This was followed by a second quake, measuring 6.1 on the Richter Scale, struck at 3.18 pm local time, 10 km east of Christchurch.

Some household items were broken and many people ran out of buildings. Christchurch airport, supermarkets and shopping malls have been evacuated.

Wang Xinmin, China’s deputy consul general to Christchurch, told Xinhua that he was driving when the first quake struck and he was forced to pull off the road because of the shaking.

Some phone networks were down and power is out in Christchurch’s suburb of New Brighton.

A 6.3 magnitude quake rocked Christchurch on February 22, killing 165 people.