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A huge earthquake has caused severe damage in Christchurch, New Zealand today. The 6.3 magnitude quake reduced buildings to rubble, tore roads apart, and trapped office workers in buildings in the city center.
Hundreds of people were injured and 65 have been confirmed dead. As rescue workers comb through the rubble, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key warns the death toll may rise.
Some of the images in this report are graphic.
Multiple fatalities have been reported after a 6.3 magnitude earthquake rocked the New Zealand city of Christchurch on Tuesday. The highest-level state of emergency has been declared for the city.
Building facades toppled to the streets, crushing cars and buses, and trapping people under rubble, as well as inside fractured and fallen buildings.
Communication services have been severely affected. This desperate mother awaits news from her son.
New Zealand Civil Defense Minister John Carter spoke to the press, saying police and army personnel have started going through the damaged buildings.
He says they intend to work through the night until every building has been completely evacuated.
People fled as debris fell from buildings during the powerful aftershocks, which themselves measured in the mid-4s and mid-5s on the Richter scale.
Police did their best to maintain as much order as possible, while emergency services and bystanders rushed to free people trapped in the rubble.
[John Key, New Zealand Prime Minister]:
"This earthquake has taken place at a time when Cantaburians were going about their business. It was a very populated time with people at work, children in school."
Today's quake, however, has been a lot more devastating because it struck in the middle of the day, at 12.50pm local time, and occurred at a shallower depth of 3.1 miles, 6.2 miles south of the city.
Gabriel Georgiou, NTD News, Australia