for the most up to date pictures visit Rebuild Christchurch
I will update this when we have had time to think, everyone here in Christchurch are in shock.
This is a huge event. if you felt it, leave comments below.
From NZH – Here is the first four hours of events
Christchurch Hospital reports two men have been seriously injured by the earthquake.
One man in his 50s is in a serious condition in intensive care at Christchurch Hospital after a chimney collapsed on him in the 7.4 magnitude earthquake, which hit at 4.30am today.
Another man, also in his 50s,was seriously injured by falling glass.
The main Christchurch Hospital is being inundated by residents arriving with broken limbs, bruises and cuts
The hospital is functioning well with a full staffing.
Early morning, the hospital switched to emergency power to keep operating theatres open.
Power is back on in Kaiapoi and Shirley. But water cut remain cut for several hours.
Timaru is also experiencing aftershocks. There are reports that a hotel in Temuka has been damaged by the earthquake which was centred 33km west of Christchutch.
Police have just issued a stern warning to “criminals” after reports of looting in the central city, including Colombo St.
In an interview with NewstalkZB Mayor Bob Parker described the quake as “sharp, severe and terrifying.”
Mayor Bob Parker has just warned residents to conserve water after fears the water infrastructure of Christchurch may have been affected by the 7.4m magnitude earthquake.
He has told residents not to flush the toilet and to conserve water. There are fears the sewerage system may have been damaged. Engineers are checking the City infrastructure now.
Civil Defence has activated the National Crisis Management centre in Wellington.
Christchurch mayor Bob Parker and police have asked people to stay off the roads after reports emerging of damage to the roading network around the city.
Engineers will check the bridges on the Christchurch motorway network for damage after the 7.4 magnitude earthquake. There are also concerns about some of the area’s bridges.
Herald reader, Gayle Temple, sent us this eye witness account from the earthquake zone.
“We live in Ashburton and were woken to our house shaking and rolling. I have never been so scared in my life running from upstairs to get down where we hid under a table.
“We didn’t know what to do having never experiencing anything like this in our lives the after shocks are still happening and I am still shaking. Lots of alarms were going off but no damage to our property or those around that we can see.”
Herald reader, Tony Metternich, reports feeling the quake as far away as Invercargill. It “was two minutes of swaying”.
Calls are flooding into police communications centres around New Zealand, causing problems for staff already trying to deal with the massive earthquake and aftershocks which have hit Christchurch and Canterbury.
A police spokesman asked residents to call police emergency numbers only in an emergency.
The Orion power company is working to restore power after the massive 7.4 magnitude earthquake hit Christchurch knocked out electricity. A spokesperson for Orion said it appeared parts of rural Canterbury and Christchurch were without power. Orion has asked residents not to call in about the power since its lines are now jammed.
Dr Mark Quigley is a lecturer in the Department of Geological Sciences at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch. He has just reported that witnesses told him the Avon River in Avonside overflowed its banks in places due to a surge in the river caused by the massive earthquake which hit Christhchurch at 4.30am today.\
He said there are large cracks in parts of the roads and gardens around Avonside – some measuring 20cm across and up to a metre deep.
Dr Quigley told RadioLive that the force of the quake had pushed up sand and dirt in mounds in parts of Avonside.
He will post pictures of the quake – when internet connectivity is restored to the city – on his website here.
There are some power lines partially down on Avonside Drive, Christchurch.
Civil Defence officials and officers from Christchurch City Council are meeting now to determine priorities after reports of damage around Christchurch caused by a 7.4 magnitude earthquake.
First pictures are beginning to emerge from earthquake-hit Christhcurch.
This picture is currently being retweeted on twitter, apparently showing damage in central Christchurch. Click here
Students are gathering in the main carpark of Canterbury University after being buffeted by the 7.4 magnitude earthquake which hit Christchurch at 4.30am today, which was then followed by a series of strong aftershocks.
A student reported that there were no injuries he could see and the University buildings appeared to have not sustained major damage.
Police have announced they are investigating a possible case of looting on Colombo St after Christchurch was rocked by a 7.4 magnitude earthquake, but said they have no further details.
Darfield, west of Christchurch and close to the epicentre of the earthquake, is experiencing rumbling earthquakes. Power is off in the town but a resident reported only minor damage after the quake, which measured 7.4 on the Richter scale, hit at 4.30am.
A series of substantial aftershocks is still continuing to rock parts of Canterbury.
A resident in Ashburton reports a major shock hit around 5.50am. However, the town continues to have lighting and power. “We mainly had stuff knocked off shelves.”
There are reports of some buildings demolished in Victoria St, Christchurch after the magnitude 7.4 earthquake struck Christchurch and Canterbury.
Police have just asked residents to not travel into the CBD, saying that the older buildings in the central city have sustained damage and they are unsure if any further collapses may occur.
Reports of the earthquake are coming in from as far afield as New Plymouth and Invercargill.
The quake was centred 33km west of Christchurch but New Zealand residents are reporting feeling the earthquake or aftershocks hundreds of kilometers away.