At 12:51pm today, a 6.3 magnitude earthquake hit Christchurch. 5km deep and 10km south-east of the city, it is being reported as more severe in its effects than the Darfield earthquake, which devastated the region in September of last year.
GNS says acceleration was a full 1G, against 0.8G for September, which equates to a 25% higher speed of movement at ground level.
Early reports are that there have been fatalities, and mobile phone providers are asking that people across New Zealand not use mobile phones for calls other than emergency calls, and instead use texts.
Prime Minister John Key has called an emergency cabinet session for 3pm today, and will then try to get down to Christchurch.
UPDATE (Feb 22): See here for Massey’s Joint Centre for Disaster Research resource page on advice about disaster stress.
LATEST SCIENTIFIC UPDATE FROM GEONET HERE
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