NZ city rocked by strong earthquake

A strong earthquake hit the southern New Zealand city of Christchurch, cutting power and phone services and sending some residents running into the streets just weeks after a more powerful quake caused extensive damage.

New Zealand’s geological agency GNS Science said today’s magnitude five quake was centred six miles south west of the city and just five miles below the surface.

Officials and news reports said phone and power services to some parts of the city were down, and some residents fled into the streets as buildings shook and objects tumbled from shelves when the quake hit about 11.30am local time.

The quake was one of many aftershocks that hit the city after a magnitude-seven quake on September 4.

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