(NECN/CNN/Google Earth) - A strong earthquake has struck near a major city in New Zealand, the U.S. Geological Survey said.
The quake had a magnitude of 7.2 -- down from an initial assessment of 7.4, the survey said. It struck about four miles from Christchurch, a city of
about 380,000 people.
A man who was at the international airport in Christchurch described the scene.
"The entire terminal started shaking," he said. "I knew it was an earthquake. There was not much you could do at that point."
Authorities evacuated the airport, he said. He saw minor damage, but nothing major.
"We've just had a terrible earthquake," said Paula May, a Christchurch resident. "We have no power. Lots of stuff in the house is all over the floor. All the power is down so I can't see anything. There's no power in the town."
A person who answered the phone at The George hotel in Christchurch, told
CNN that "we are cleaning up at the present moment" but wouldn't disclose any
The quake was 10 miles deep.
It struck at 4:35 a.m. Saturday (12:35 p.m. ET Friday) about four miles
southeast of Christchurch, a major city in New Zealand, the survey reported.
The quake is not likely to generate a tsunami, according to the Pacific
Tsunami Warning Center.
Paula May, a Christchurch, New Zealand resident, describes the scene to CNN.