At least 33 earthquakes rocked the earthquake-devastated New Zealand city of Christchurch on Friday, including two powerful 5.8 magnitude tremors.
The first quake struck at 1:58 pm as stores were packed with Christmas shoppers, turning their holiday mood into panic.
With inner-city streets gridlocked by people desperate to get home, the second 5.8 quake came 70 minutes later.
Aftershocks rolled on throughout the afternoon, several with a magnitude greater than 5, according to New Zealand’s GeoNet.
This new series of quakes comes just 10 months after swathes of the city were destroyed by another quake.
Although telephone and electric services were disrupted in many areas and rockfalls occurred in some coastal suburbs, police said there were no reports of other injuries or widespread damage.
The international airport and shopping malls were all evacuated and closed after the earthquake as a precautionary measure, but were expected to reopen later in the day.
Two vacant properties were reported to have collapsed and liquefaction appeared in some of the suburbs worst hit in previous earthquakes.
A Radio New Zealand reporter, Bridget Mills, said in places the tarmac felt “like jelly”, and there was fresh flooding caused by liquefaction.
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Thanks to Robert Stom and Carla Burgers in Christchurch, N.Z. for these links