New Zealand's quake-ravaged city Christchurch has been rattled by two large tremors and a series of aftershocks, injuring a number of people and forcing the evacuation of buildings.
Two quakes, a 5.2 followed by a 6.0 in magnitude
, were felt within just two hours, with the second hitting just 13 kilometres from Christchurch at a depth of 9 kilometres.
Near Tai Tapu, south of Christchurch, local resident Philippa Edwards says the second quake felt as big or bigger than the 6.3-magnitude quake that devastated the city in February.
Ms Edwards says the house and trees shook and tremors are continuing every few minutes. Local reports say five tremors measuring 4.4, 5.2, 4.3, 3.4 and 6.0 have been felt since 1:00pm local time.
Police said they had received some reports of damage in the city, including flooding.
The Christchurch Press reported a building had collapsed, with some people believed to be trapped inside. Electricity supplies in many areas have been affected.
Christchurch resident Jenny Howell says she is battling to get home to Avondale, a suburb of Christchurch. She says the liquifaction has returned and she is shaking.
There are problems with phone lines through to affected areas.
Much of central Christchurch remains closed off since February's 6.3-magnitude quake which levelled buildings, killing 181 people in the country's deadliest earthquake for 80 years.
An inquest into the collapse of one of the buildings in the February quake, which began today, was briefly evacuated following the latest tremor.
ABC New Zealand correspondent Dominique Schwartz, who was attending the inquest, said plaster fell from the ceiling of the inquest venue as the earthquake hit.
"This was a room that was full of people who were hearing about how their loved ones died in an earthquake and we'd just broken for lunch when this quake happened," she said.
"The building shook quite a lot. It seemed like it was then stopping and then it took off again.
"There was a loud crack on the floor above us, some plaster fell down, and that's when both of us who could get out ran out fairly swiftly.
"I don't think anyone here thinks the worst of it is over. I think people take it one day at a time or one moment at the time.
"In the week after the September 4 earthquake, we had a lot of powerful aftershocks then.
"Really what we're seeing is an ongoing pattern of aftershocks, which doesn't make it any easier for the people of Canterbury."
-ABC/AFPhttp://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011 ... 242419.htm