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Powerful earthquake strikes New Zealand

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) " A powerful earthquake struck New Zealand's South Island early Monday, killing at least two people, damaging buildings and infrastructure, and prompting warnings to people along the coast to move to higher ground to avoid possible tsunami waves.

The magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck just after midnight in a mostly rural area that's dotted with small towns. Near the epicenter, it opened up snaking fissures in roads and triggered landslides.

It caused damage in Wellington, the capital, more than 200 kilometers (120 miles) to the north. It was also strongly felt to the south in the city of Christchurch, which was devastated by an earthquake in 2011 that killed 185 people. Residents said the shaking went on for about three minutes, and was followed by a number of strong aftershocks.

Police said one person died in the small coastal town of Kaikoura and another in Mt. Lyford, a nearby ski resort. There were also reports that several people had suffered minor injuries in Kaikoura, police spokeswoman Rachel Purdom said.

The quake completely cut off road access to Kaikoura, said resident Terry Thompson, who added that electricity and most phones were also down in the town of 2,000, a popular destination for tourists taking part in whale-watching expeditions.

Source:
Nzherald. Nov 14, 2016. Powerful earthquake strikes New Zealand, killing 2 people. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=11747418