An earthquake measured between 6.6 and 7.2 has struck New Zealand. Local reports by New Zealand Herald said the quake struck 20km south-east of Hanmer Springs, quoting Geonet. Geonet described the quake, felt through much of the country, as “very large”.
The quake struck at 12.02am Monday and is officially rated as “severe”. Many people from as far afield as Wellington to Dunedin felt the quake. In Wellington, sirens can be heard and people are on the street crying. New Zealand Civil Defence just tweeted that it is “assessing [the] situation with assistance of scientific advisors and civil defence groups”.
There are reports that houses in Cheviot, near where the quake was centred in Canterbury, are badly affected by the shake. Police advise that all Emergency 111 lines are currently non-operational as a result of the quake.
They advise all calls for police service should be made to the local police station which will then forwarded to a police communication centre for actioning. At this time police are unable to advise when normal services will resume.