Cliff collapses as 5.7-magnitude quake rocks New Zealand

Wellington, Feb 14 (IANS) A cliff near New Zealand city of Christchurch collapsed on Sunday after a 5.7-magnitude quake struck the South Island city.

The New Zealand government’s GeoNet monitoring service said the moderate quake was centred 15 km east of the city at a depth of 15 km, Xinhua reported.

The US Geological Survey put the magnitude of the temblor at 5.8 with a relatively shallow depth of 8.2 km.

Emergency services said part of a cliff collapsed in Sumner district in Christchurch. A video clip posted on the social media showed a huge dust cloud following the collapse.

Police cordoned off nearby access to the fallen cliff and local electricity service said at least 450 homes were left without power.

Earthquake Minister Gerry Brownlee said he has not received reports of injuries or deaths and engineers were on the ground to assess any damage.

“It’s clearly not a state of civil emergency at the present time,” he said.

The service of cable car in Christchurch was halted after the quake, according to Shu Pei, a Chinese resident in the city.

The University of Canterbury evacuated its Christchurch campus as part of normal safety precautions but there were no reports of damage, a spokesperson said.

The quake struck just a week before the fifth anniversary of a deadly 6.3-magnitude quake which killed 185 people and injured as many as 2,000 others in the city in 2011.

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