Christchurch has been left devastated after a massive 7.4 magnitude earthquake struck 30km west of the city at 4.35am this morning.
The quake was at a depth of 33km and was centred near Darfield, and has left large parts of the area without power, water or telephones.
Roads have been blocked by debris after the several buildings collapsed onto the streets, leaving their interiors visible and the central city resembling a war zone.
Large groups of onlookers have gathered to survey the damage and take pictures with their cameras and mobile phones.
Several large aftershocks have already struck the region, and wardens dressed in high-visibility gear are asking people to stay well clear of buildings because of the high risk of further collapses.
Traffic lights are still not working in several places around the central city, creating gridlock as the traffic flow increases.
Mayor’s advice for people affected by the quake
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