Christchurch Buildings Damaged by Aftershocks, Police Report

Dec. 26 (Bloomberg) -- A series of earthquake aftershocks rattled New Zealand’s second-largest city Christchurch this morning, causing some damage to buildings, police said.

Most of the damage, which included falling masonry and broken glass, was the result of a 4.9 magnitude tremor recorded at 10:30 a.m. local time, Stephen Hill, a spokesman for Christchurch police, said in a phone interview today.

The Christchurch area has been dealing with aftershocks since a 7.0 earthquake on Sept. 4 damaged more than 100,000 homes, broke water and sewage lines and caused about NZ$4 billion damage ($3 billion). It was the worst quake in New Zealand in 80 years.

Today’s damage occurred in a small area of the central business district, with commercial and retail buildings affected, Hill said. Police cordoned off part of the business district as a precaution. No injuries were reported, he said.

Three aftershocks, with magnitudes between 3.7 and 4.2 were also recorded between 2:07 a.m. and 2:32 a.m. today, Hill said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Joe Schneider in Sydney at jschneider5@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jim McDonald at jmcdonald8@bloomberg.net