Christchurch earthquake aftermath
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Deaths after quake hits Christchurch in New Zealand

Multiple fatalities have been reported after a powerful 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck Christchurch on New Zealand's South Island, police say.

The tremor, which hit at 1251 (2351 GMT on Monday) only 10km (6.2 miles) south-east of the city at a depth of 5km (3.1 miles), caused widespread destruction.

The fire service said numerous people were trapped in buildings, and a state of emergency has been declared.

Phil Mercer reports.

  • 22 Feb 2011