A devastating earthquake occured about 5 miles southeast of Christchurch, New Zealand, at 12:50 PM local time Feb. 22. The Central Business District has sustained considerable damage, and there are fears that the death toll could climb to 300. On September 4, 2010 a 7.1 Magnitude Quake hit about 19 miles from Christchurch, however, it was before business hours and there were no deaths despite extensive damage.
Still, Seismologists have ruled this event as an aftershock (one of thousands) from the September quake. This new quake was about 5 km more shallow, and about 9 km closer to the city center, hit during the lunch hour when the city center was full. In September, the event occured just before 5 AM.
If you have travel plans to Christchurch, please check with your airline and your travel agent. If you have plans to travel to other parts of New Zealand, please do NOT cancel. They need your support, your presence, and your prayers.