Bodies are being pulled from under the rubble in Christchurch Streets after a major earthquake at lunchtime today.
The 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck at 12.51pm today, leaving parts of the city without electricity and water.
The spire of the cathedral in the central city has collapsed and there are reports there are people inside the building.
GNS science is reporting the earthquake measured 6.3 in magnitude on the Richter scale at a depth of 5km and struck 10km south east of the city - near Lyttelton.
Damage in the city is severe. There are reports of bodies being pulled from a bus in Columbo Street.
The TVNZ building in christchurch is said to have collapsed. The Pyne Guold building in Cambridge Terrace is reported collapsed. The Christchurch police station has been evacuated, the hopsital is being evacuated.
Radio New Zealand says staff at the Christchurch newsroom had to cling to their desks during the shaking. Large filing cabinets toppled.
People made their way out of the building but when they got out they couldn’t see for dust. A church near the RNZ building in Durham Street has collapsed.
Concrete in Victoria Square lifted at least a metre in some places and there are signs of liquefaction around the Avon River.
The Ferrymead bridge is reported to be impassable.
Witnesses say the earthquake lasted at least a minute and was very strong. There are reports of widespread damage in the city centre, with burst mains, and soil liquifaction.
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