Mary Anna (24 Dec 2011)
"Strong earthquakes rattle NZ's Christchurch"

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) ­ A series of strong earthquakes struck the New Zealand city of Christchurch on Friday, rattling buildings, sending goods tumbling from shelves and prompting terrified holiday shoppers to flee into the streets. There was no tsunami alert issued and the city appeared to have been spared major damage.

The first 5.8-magnitude quake struck Friday afternoon, 16 miles north of Christchurch and 2.5 miles deep, the U.S. Geological Survey said. Minutes later, a 5.3-magnitude aftershock hit. About an hour after that, the city was shaken by another 5.8-magnitude temblor, the U.S.G.S. said, though New Zealand's geological agency GNS Science recorded that aftershock as a magnitude-6.0. Both aftershocks were less than 3 miles deep.