What we know:

– 7.5 quake strikes at 12.02am not far from Hanmer Springs in North Canterbury in the South Island – country still being hit, with more than 100 aftershocks so far                                                                                                                                                   – Tsunami waves have been recorded in and around Kaikoura and parts of Wellington – find your local evacuation zone here and your local Civil Defence group here.
– At least two people have been killed amid reports of many other casualties – one victim suffered a heart attack, another was killed in a historic homestead in Canterbury
– Kaikoura and other South Island towns have been essentially cut off, with the famous SH1 road and rail tunnels blocked by slips
– A massive slip has also closed SH70 to Waiau in north Canterbury
– Wellington is also badly hit, with damage to buildings and roads – people are being told to avoid the Capital CBD
– The cost of the quake is expected to be hundreds of millions of dollars
– Schools from North Canterbury to Wellington told to remain shut until damage can be assessed
– Students sitting NCEA exams face disruption, delays – scholarship exams called off today
– Tsunami warnings for entire east coast of New Zealand have been lifted but people living on the coast are being warned to stay away from beaches and shoreline
– Fire Service sending 7-strong urban search and rescue squad from Christchurch to Kaikoura
– Prime Minister John Key says military helicopters being made availableand Cabinet will meet this morning
– Key says communications have been difficult and full assessment of damage, casualties still being conducted
– St John receiving reports of injuries around Culverden and Kaikoura – paramedics being sent in by helicopter
– Power is out in many areas
– NZTA says roads some main highways are closed. All airports are open.

Earthquake damage in Blenheim.
Earthquake damage in Blenheim.
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SH1 Kaikoura landslip
Trucks parked up on State Highway 1 north of Ward after this morning's earthquake.
Trucks parked up on State Highway 1 north of Ward after this morning’s earthquake.
Kaikoura MP Stuart Smith stands in a road destroyed by the quake.
Kaikoura MP Stuart Smith stands in a road destroyed by the quake.
Builing damage on High St, Picton following Monday morning's earthquake.
Builing damage on High St, Picton following Monday morning’s earthquake
Damage to SH 1, near Ward, an hour north of Kaikoura, following Monday morning's 7.5 quake.
Damage to SH 1, near Ward, an hour north of Kaikoura, following Monday morning’s 7.5 quake.
Wellington's ferry terminal damaged in Monday morning earthquake.
Wellington’s ferry terminal damaged in Monday morning earthquake.

 

 

Earthquake damage at a Wellington home.
Earthquake damage at a Wellington home
Damage to buildings on Wakefield Street, Wellington.
Damage to buildings on Wakefield Street, Wellington
Fresh Choice in Nelson
Fresh Choice in Nelson