19 shocking photos that show extent of destruction in New Zealand in earthquake aftermath

By Kirstin Buick
14 November 2016

At least two people died and thousands are stranded after a series of powerful earthquakes rocked New Zealand on Monday.

At least two people have died after a series of powerful earthquakes rocked New Zealand on Monday, causing widespread devastation.

The quakes triggered aftershocks and a tsunami, forcing thousands to evacuate their homes.

The first quake hit just after midnight Monday near the coastal community of Kaikoura, measuring 7,8 on the Richter Scale.

The quake triggered 2,5 m waves and rising tide levels, prompting authorities to call for residents to evacuate their homes along the coast.

The initial warning was lifted but tremors continued Monday afternoon -- one of which was a 6.2-magnitude quake struck 39 k, west-southwest of Kaikoura, further north of Christchurch.

AS night falls, the thousands of people left stranded are making plans for how they will spend the night, The Guardian reports.

"Some will sleep in community centres and town halls, while others will pitch tents under the stars, hoping for a much quieter night than the one that went before it."


Read more: 21 unbelievable photos and videos of Joburg’s flash floods


The UK's Katarina Kroll, who was on honeymoon with her husband in Kaikoura when the quake hit, told the Guardian they were stuck at a hospital.

"We’re stranded here, there’s no access as the state highway is closed by huge land slips and roads cracked on either side of the peninsula."

The country's Prime Minister John Key posted a short video to social media in which he described the damage.

"It's hard to see how those roads, neither north nor south, will be opened very easily," he said.

"In the short term what we're trying to do is make sure that the people of Kaikoura and the likes have food, water, help and backup. "I'd say it's billions of dollars worth of money that we have to spend here but we're focused on what we're doing and we'll keep up the good work." Photos on social media show the extent of the damage

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A powerful 7.8-magnitude #earthquake struck #NewZealand just after midnight, triggering a tsunami alert for the entire east coast of the South and North Islands. Tens of thousands of people were evacuated along the coast and two are confirmed dead. There have been huge landslides, rivers blocked, roads buckled, Wellington has been described as a "ghost town" and the town of Kaikoura has been almost completely isolated with roads closed and phone lines down. Local residents look at damage along State Highway One near the town of Ward • Follow the link in our bio for the latest updates on our live blog • Photograph: Anthony Phelps/Reuters • #eqnz #nzearthquake #christchurch #wellington #tsunami #kaikoura #quake

A photo posted by Guardian Australia (@guardianaustralia) on

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Sources: BBC, The Guardian

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