Earthquakes Rattle New Zealand Town, Again

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A series of powerful earthquakes rattled the city of Christchurch in New Zealand Monday, just 4 months after 181 people lost their lives in a magnitude 6.3 earthquake that caused extensive damage.

New Zealand's Civil Defense said10 residents suffered minor injuries in the 6.0 magnitude quake, which hit the city at 2.20 pm local time.

According to the Reuters report, Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker told Radio New Zealand, "You can draw a picture already of a significant earthquake. A cloud of dust had enveloped the city after the quakes."

After the initial earthquake, today's aftershock sent boulders tumbling on homes and roads in the Port Hills area of the city. Flooding and liquefaction affected parts of the eastern city that had already suffered a lot of damage in February's tremor.

Power is out in close to 50,000 homes, phone lines are strained and water shortage is being reported at a time when temperatures in the city have dropped below zero.

Prime Minister John Key said that though the new tremor would probably affect recovery efforts at Christchurch, it, nevertheless, did not lessen the government's long-term resolve to rebuild New Zealand's second largest city.

Christchurch has experienced a number of strong earthquakes since a magnitude 7.1 quake struck the city on Sept 4 last year.

Parts of the city center have been closed since the Feb 22 earthquake. Ironically, Monday's earthquake came on the same day an inquest begam on the calamitous events at the CTV building collapse in February's quake.

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