Christchurch is already in recovery mode from the 2011 earthquake that killed nearly 185 people and caused a lot of distruction and today, according to the US Geological Survey, an earthquake of the magnitude-7.4 hit just after midnight (11:02 GMT on Sunday), some 95km (59 miles) from Christchurch.
New Zealand is situated on the infamous Ring of Fire, the line of frequent quakes and volcanic eruptions that circles virtually the entire Pacific rim.
The Herald newspaper said the tremor was felt all the way to Wellington, where sirens sounded and people fled buildings into the streets, some of them crying.
Early reports suggest that Cheviot town which falls near the epicentre has suffered and some houses have been damaged.
According to a local, the tremors lasted a ‘long’ time.
“We were asleep and woken to the house shaking, it kept going and going and felt like it was going to build up,” she told AFP news agency.
A magnitude-7.1 quake struck 169km (105 miles) north-east of Gisborne on the North Island in September, sparking a tsunami warning. It caused some damage to property, but no injuries.
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