New Zealand was struck by two major earthquakes, with the first hitting 1 p.m. (New Zealand time) Monday followed by four minor earthquakes in the afternoon.
The largest earthquake that hit Christchurch measured a magnitude of 6.0.
Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker told the New Zealand radio, “Thank God, we had evacuated the whole of red zone; there's been quite clearly a more significant building collapse in there.”
“We are just now being enveloped by dust blowing out of the central city; we are just outside the cordon. This time a plethora of sirens have gone off .... car sirens, building sirens, it's just terrible.”
This is Christchurch’s third recent earthquake with the first one hitting on September 4 and the second on February 22 which resulted in 181 deaths.
Prime Minister John Key told reporters, "I acknowledge that this has been a setback for Christchurch and its people, but it does not lessen our resolve to rebuild.”
So far, there have been no reports of fatalities but the police have seen injuries.
According to a spokeswoman for the New Zealand fire services, the aftershocks have caused renewed "liquefaction, flooding, power lines down, falling debris, and burst sewer and water pipes."
The earthquake has caused the NZ dollar to drop in value. The aftershocks dropped the trading from 82.15 U.S. cents to 81.24 U.S. cents
According to reports, the government expects the rebuilding cost from the damage caused by this year's earthquakes will be around $12 billion (USD).