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2 killed in a powerful earthquake of 7.8 magnitude hit New Zealand

Christchurch: On Monday, a powerful earthquake measuring magnitude of 7.8 on Richter scale, hit New Zealand killing at least two people, damaging roads and buildings. It is also prompting a tsunami warning that sent thousands people to higher ground.

The epicenter of the earthquake of 7.8 Richter scale was in the northeast of Christchurch in the south Island. Emergency response teams were flying by helicopter to the region.

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Telecommunications and Power lines were down due to the powerful earthquake.

The first earthquake struck just 23 km deep, jolting many from their sleep and raising memories of the 6.3 magnitude Christchurch quake in 2011, which killed 185 people.
New Zealand lies in the seismically active Ring of Fire. The Ring of Fire is a 40,000 km arc of volcanoes and oceanic trenches that partly encircles the Pacific Ocean. Around 90%  of the world’s earthquakes occur within this region.

Environment Canterbury in Kaikoura – Kevin Heays told Radio New Zealand that there had been a lot of damage to roads.

He further said that there are a lot of poles down.  We will be without power for a long, long time. I understand that the roads north and south are out so we are pretty well isolated.

Civil Defence Controller of Christchurch – John Mackie said that while the earthquake was centred inland, the fault line extended offshore for a considerable distance. That meant that seismic activity could cause movement out at sea, leading to a tsunami.

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