UPDATED 3rd Time 2120Hrs EST
Details are sketchy at this hour, but another large earthquake has struck New Zealand at 12.51pm local time, reportedly centered 10 kilometers south of the city at a depth of five kilometers.
This is the largest temblor since the 7.1 quake last September. Many structures in the region were badly damaged during the 2010 event, and serious additional damage is likely from this latest quake.
This first report via Radio New Zealand.
Mayor Bob Parker says it felt like a whole new earthquake, not just an aftershock of the 4 September 7.1 quake. "It was very, very strong," he says.
Mr Parker advises people not to drive, given the state of the roads.
Radio New Zealand's reporter says staff at the Christchurch newsroom had to cling to their desks during the shaking. Large filing cabinets toppled.
UPDATE: Audio feed of Radio New Zealand news feed available at:
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