6.3 magnitude earthquake hits New Zealand's Christchurch

February 22, 2011 10:46 am 

WELLINGTON, Feb. 22 — A 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck New Zealand South Island's Canterbury region on Tuesday, with some buildings collapsed in and phone lines down in Christchurch.

GNS Science said the quake occurred at 12:51 p.m. local time (2351 GMT Monday) and was centered at Lyttelton, some 10 kilometers southeast of Christchurch, at a depth of five kilometers.

A Christchurch resident named Feng told Xinhua the shake lasted approximately a minute and was extremely violent, causing a TV set in his house falling to the ground.

There is widespread damage to the city center, with a church on Durham St collapsed and concrete lifted by up to a meter, Radio New Zealand reported.

Phone lines were down and calls were not being connected to emergency services. (PNA/Xinhua)

LDV/ebp

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