After being hit by a magnitude 7.1 earthquake last September, Christchurch, New Zealand has been hit again on Tuesday with another massive earthquake. Tuesday’s quake had a preliminary magnitude of 6.3, but was very shallow, very near the city and struck in the early afternoon. Reuters reports that there are multiple fatalities (unlike last fall, when there were no deaths):
A strong quake hit New Zealand’s second-biggest city of Christchurch on Tuesday for the second time in five months, toppling buildings, causing “multiple fatalities,” trapping people beneath rubble and sparking fires.
Local TV showed bodies being pulled out of rubble strewn around the city center, though it was unclear whether any of them were alive, but police reported “multiple fatalities” after the 6.3 magnitude quake struck during the busy lunchtime.
New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said he would attend an emergency cabinet meeting in Wellington and then fly to Christchurch if conditions allow.
Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker told Radio New Zealand that the rumbling tossed him across the room, that he knew of injuries in the city council building and has heard unconfirmed reports of serious injuries.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the people of Christchurch as they respond to this disaster.
Update: More video added below the fold.