WELLINGTON (Reuters) – A major earthquake of 7.0 magnitude hit New Zealand, 30 km (20 miles) west of Christchurch early Saturday morning, causing no immediate reports of casualties but widespread damage, authorities said.
The quake, which had a depth of 33 kms (20.5 miles), was felt throughout much of the South Island and southern parts of the North Island, but did not trigger a tsunami.
Police in Christchurch, New Zealand's second-largest city with a population of about 342,000 people, said there were many reports of broken windows, items thrown off shelves, toppled chimneys, with power and water services disrupted
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