New Zealand Quake: Some Homes Collapse, But No Serious Injuries

Image: New Zealand Quake: Some Homes Collapse, But No Serious Injuries

Friday, 16 Aug 2013 01:59 PM

By Ken Mandel

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Earthquakes struck New Zealand on Friday, leaving collapsed homes, displaced office workers and traffic jams, but serious injuries have been reported.

In the capital of Wellington, some buildings were evacuated, and some areas reported items being knocked off shelves, according to The Associated Press. (http://www.theage.com.au/environment/strong-quakes-shake-new-zealand-20130816-2s125.html). The national stock exchange closed for more than an hour.

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The magnitude 6.8 quake hit the area just after 2:30 p.m. local time in Seddon, on the South Island, followed by smaller aftershocks, at least six of which measured at least 5.0.

Police spokeswoman Barbara Dunn told the AP several homes close to the epicenter had collapsed chimneys and caved-in roofs. A bridge on the main highway also suffered significant damage, and rocks and other debris had fallen on the road, forcing its closure.

Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown said the city's infrastructure and office buildings suffered no major damage, the AP reported.

"We think this is business as usual," she said, "but it is going to take a little while for people to get home tonight."

A similar earthquake in the same area last month destroyed water mains, broke windows, and caused power outages.

New Zealand is part of a region known as the "Ring of Fire," which often has seismic activity. A major 2011 earthquake in Christchurch killed 185 people and caused billions of dollars in damages.

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