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Sharp quake rattles southern NZ city

A strong earthquake has hit the southern New Zealand city of Christchurch, cutting power and phone services and sending some residents running into the streets just weeks after a more powerful quake caused extensive damage.

world Updated: Oct 20, 2010 07:41 IST

A strong earthquake has hit the southern New Zealand city of Christchurch, cutting power and phone services and sending some residents running into the streets just weeks after a more powerful quake caused extensive damage.

New Zealand's geological agency GNS Science said today's magnitude 5 quake was centered six miles (10 kilometres) southwest of the city and just five miles (nine kilometres) below the surface.

Officials and news reports said phone and power services to some parts of the city were down, and some residents fled into the streets as buildings shook and objects tumbled from shelves when the quake hit about 11:30 am (2230 GMT yesterday).

The temblor was one of many aftershocks that hit the city after magnitude-7 quake on September 4.