| Latest Christchurch News | Friday May 25 2012 14:49
Christchurch has been rocked by a large earthquake.
The quake stuck at 2.44pm. It was a magnitude 5.2 and centred 11 kilometres deep, 10 kilometres east of Christchurch, near Bottle Lake Forest.
Newstalk ZB's Brian Ashby says it lasted for about 12 or 14 seconds.
"Didn't hear this one coming, all of a sudden it was there bang, and the house really rolled, this was a real rattler, I'm watching TV in my bedroom and it moved close to falling off the edge of the dresser."
Newstalk ZB's Mike Yardley says the epicentre appears to have been somewhere between Marshlands Road and Bottle Lake Forest.
"Fingers crossed, there won't be any liquefaction from this, but certainly I would imagine in the east of Christchurch there will be broken crockery and some of those nuisance cases of damage, maybe a few roof tiles dislodged, which will cause weather proofing issues in winter. but yeah certainly a tickle up this afternoon."
Newstalk ZB caller Pat is in Fendalton and told Danny Watson it was ghastly.
"It went for quite a while, it was jarring, and then it sort of rocked it's way through."
Debris has fallen from already quake damaged buildings in central Christchurch.
The central city red zone cordon in has been evacuated with a string of aftershocks being recorded.
An Earthquake Recovery Authority spokeswoman says it's standard practice in shakes as large as this to shut the central city down, while staff go in and assess any damage.
But she says given it's Friday afternoon and it takes assessors some time to get into the zone, the call's been made to shut it down for the rest of the day.
APNZ reports that up to 1000 rebuild workers and demolition contractors have been told to leave the danger zone.
The strong earthquake that hit this afternoon was also felt in Timaru.
The City Council says it's received no reports of damage so far.
St John says fortunately it's had no reports of injury following this afternoon's 5.2 magnitude quake.
Orion says the power has stayed on.