5.5 Quake Hits Canterbury, More Liquefaction, People Poss Trapped In Collapsed Building

A magnitude 5.5 quake rocked Christchurch today at 1pm local time, it was followed eight minutes later by a second quake that measured 4.4.

Geonet recorded the quake, with the epicentre just off the beach at Sumner.

Reference Number 3528810
Universal Time June 13 2011 at 1:00
NZ Standard Time Monday, June 13 2011 at 1:00 pm
Latitude, Longitude 43.58°S, 172.78°E
Focal Depth 11 km
Richter magnitude 5.5
Region Canterbury
  • 10 km east of Lyttelton
  • 10 km north-east of Diamond Harbour
  • 10 km east of Christchurch

Stuff reported on the quake, saying

There were evacuations at Canterbury University, Westfield Riccarton mall and Pak ‘n Save Wainoni.

One worker said items had been thrown from the shelves and the floor was littered with food and broken glass.

“It was pretty freaky. It felt like it was right under the supermarket,” she said.

Residents in Beckenham and Merivale said crockery smashed and shelves were emptied.

More liquefaction has been reported in Christchurch’s eastern suburbs.

In the Liggins St area of Horseshoe Lake the ground was bubbling, with sand spurting out of the ground, as happened in the first two major quakes, a resident said.

Phone lines were overloading… more here

Lyttelton Tunnel closed briefly, but has reopened.

There was one report that said a building had collapsed and people were trapped:

The quake struck at 1pm, 10 kilometres east of Christchurch at Taylor’s Mistake beach, at a depth of 11km, and sent people scrambling for cover.

A police spokesman said a building on the corner of Stanmore and Worcester Street had collapsed and people were feared trapped inside…more here

Stuff later tweeted

Bob Parker said there were unconfirmed reports of injuries within the cordon where dozens of demolition contractors have been working #eqnz

More tweets

 Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker said the earthquake felt at least as powerful as the February 22 quake, but much shorter in duration. #eqnz
Dust has billowed out of the inner city red zone, indicating the collapse of buildings. #eqnz
Update: Large pieces of masonry have fallen from the historic Provincial Chambers building. #eqnz
 Police have closed ANZAC Bridge due to fresh cracks #eqnz
 Reports from @OrionNZ that 10,000 customers are without power from Heathcote to Brooklands including Bromley, Belfast and Marshland #eqnz
Crack has appeared in Durham st over bridge Sydenham side @ChristchurchCC #eqnz yfrog.com/keifpdj
The event was also discussed at length on the Trademe forum, with people saying it felt more powerful than a  5.5, with a greater shaking intensity. Read about it here.

We predict that this too will be declared a new event for insurance purposes.