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article imageUpdate: 65 dead as strong quake hits Christchurch

By Kesavan Unnikrishnan     Feb 21, 2011 in World
A large 6.3 magnitude earthquake rocked Christchurch, New Zealand. Local reports say there are people trapped in the buildings.
The massive earthquake struck around noon local time, bringing down many buildings, including the spire of the iconic cathedral in the centre of the City. Television reports say, the airport is closed and people are seen running from damaged buildings.
According to U.S. Geological Survey, the quake was 6.3 in magnitude and struck five kilometers from the city at a shallow depth of just four kilometers. The initial quake was followed by several aftershocks, including one measuring 5.6 in magnitude. Eyewitness reports say the quake felt much stronger than the September quake which had a magnitude of 7.1.
New Zealand, which is located at the boundary of the Pacific and Indo-Australian tectonic plates, records thousands of earth quakes a year, of which about 20 would normally top magnitude 5.0.
Update 1: Police Say two buses had been crushed by falling buildings. There was a strong smell of gas and clouds of dust in the sky.
Update 2: 80 percent of Christchurch is without power. Many roads lifted as much as a meter.
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