Queenstown trembles as devastating quake destroys Christchurch buildings

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A devastating earthquake – which resulted in minor tremors in Queenstown – has destroyed buildings in downtown Christchurch. 

Stuff.co.nz is reporting two people with serious injuries after the 7.1 magnitude shake-up – the most damaging in the country since Hawke’s Bay’s 7.8 magnitude quake. 

The quake struck at 4.35am. It was centred 30km west of the city and 33km underground. 

Stuff.co.nz reports one man in his fifties was hit by a falling chimney and is now in a serious condition in the intensive care unit in Christchurch Hospital. 

Another man in his fifties has serious injuries after being cut by glass in the earthquake. 

In August, Mountain Scene revealed a new study concluding Wakatipu residents were ill-prepared for an inevitable major earthquake. 

Wakatipu residents were also least worried about associated risks, Otago University postgraduate student Caroline Orchiston concludes in her thesis on the potential impact of an inevitable Alpine Fault earthquake on New Zealand tourism. 

Queenstown is 90km from the Alpine Fault so less vulnerable than Milford Sound, Mt Cook and West Coast towns. 

Civil Defence advice includes: 

1. EXPECT aftershocks. Each time one is felt, drop, cover, and hold on. 

2. CHECK yourself first for injuries and get first aid if necessary before helping injured or trapped persons. 

3. ASSESS your home or workplace for damage. If the building appears unsafe get everyone out. Use the stairs, not an elevator and when outside, watch out for fallen power lines or broken gas lines. Stay out of damaged areas. 

4. LOOK for and extinguish small fires if safe to do so. Fire is a significant hazard following earthquakes. 

5. LISTEN to the radio for updated emergency information and instructions. 

6. DO NOT overload the phone lines with non-emergency calls. 

7. HELP people who require special assistance – infants, elderly people, those without transportation, large families who may need additional help, people with disabilities, and the people who care for them.

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