Another Severe Earthquake Hits Central New Zealand

Auckland (Syed Mujeeb) • A major 5.8 aftershock, with its epicentre near Seddon, hits central New Zealand at 7.43pm – one of more than 400 since this morning’s 7.5 quake

• Kaikoura cut off as landslides bury State Highway 1 and main trunk rail line – HMNZS Canterbury is on its way and may be used to evacuate 1100 stranded tourists. PM also considering using Air Force aircraft.

• A small South Island community has been evacuated after the Clarence River breached its banks tonight – and a large wall of water is heading downstream. Civil Defence say 16 rafters and another group of kayakers are on the river who are now confirmed safe. Residents have been told to move to higher ground immediately.

• Almost 400 aftershocks strike region after this morning’s devastating 7.5 quake which claimed the lives of at least two people – thousands of others miraculously escape injury

• A 100-year-old woman and her daughter-in-law were rescued from the rubble of an historic homestead, while her son tragically did not make it

• At least two people have been killed amid reports of other casualties – one victim suffered a heart attack, another was killed in a historic homestead in Canterbury

• Wellington is also badly hit, with damage to buildings and roads – people have been told all day to avoid the Capital’s CBD

• Richie McCaw involved in rescue mission after deadly South Island quake: “it’s a bit scary”.

• Residents fled homes in the wake of a tsunami threat – police now investigating 19 cases in which vacant houses were ransacked by burglars

• Students sitting NCEA exams face disruption, delays – scholarship exams called off today

• A massive slip has also closed SH70 to Waiau in north Canterbury