New Zealand quake: 'The noise was terrifying'

The New Zealand city of Christchurch has been hit by a series of earthquakes, almost four months after a tremor devastated the area and killed 181 people.

Shopping malls and the airport were evacuated and 50,000 people have been left without power.

Residents in Christchurch describe the moment the quake hit.

Lauren Brown, Christchurch

I'm a geologist who just happened to be in Christchurch doing land damage assessments on the last big quake.

I was in the Port Hills suburb of Huntsbury when the 6.0-magnitude quake hit.

The ground shook violently for a good 15 to 20 seconds and people came running out of their houses.

After the big shake we could hear the roar as it hit the rest of the city. It was like an explosion; so loud.

There were smaller shakes then every few minutes for half an hour or so.

We checked everyone was ok then headed back to where we're staying in the city.

We drove past more flooded sections of road. It was a very scary experience.

It was my first quake - I used to live in non-shaky Auckland for three years after moving over from Leeds in the UK.

Philip Mcloughlin, Christchurch

It seems as though these shocks are never going to relent. Once we have picked ourselves up and dusted ourselves off, we get hit again.

Christchurch is running out of chances, I predict a huge outflow of residents, especially those who have immigrated.

It is extremely sad that such a beautiful place is being destroyed right in front of our very eyes.

At the moment I'm picking up broken plates in my home. I live close to the city centre and work 20km away.

I was working on a building site when the quake hit. By the second tremor we knew it was a big one because we could see the trucks rocking back and forth.

I rushed back to the house, and tried to call people but all phone lines were down. We don't have any water and probably won't have any for a few days.

Everything has been thrown to the other side of the rooms.

It's frustrating. We moved to this place seven months ago and couldn't get contents insurance. We're back to square one now.

Hannah Gin, Christchurch

I'm very happy I decided to sleep in otherwise I would have been in town where the cordon is.

I was lying in bed when the quake struck. I knew it was a big one, and I could see everything shaking around me.

I thought that some buildings might have been damaged by the quake.

I immediately rang my relatives to see if they were alright, then grabbed a radio and carried that around wherever I went.

Luckily the house was not damaged and we still have power and water.

I've been texting friends and checking for updates online.

Libby Simpson, Christchurch

My partner and I have been here for five years, and have been here for all the earthquakes and aftershocks since September.

It is very hard to describe what it's like to someone who has never felt an earthquake - especially violent ones like we are getting.

The noise is terrifying. I have been at work for all of the earthquakes but I was home alone today for the 6.0-magnitude quake.

I was fine at work but I'm a mess on my own. How much can a person take?

We were still having bad aftershocks up until the 22 February earthquake and we continue to have them.

We have no warning and even when an aftershock hits, it is not until a few seconds into it that you know whether it's a serious one or not.

Sometimes a few seconds is all it takes for you to be in the wrong place at the wrong time as we found out in February.

I find myself thinking 'it can only get better now', but it feels very much like it's getting worse.

How much more can the land beneath Christchurch take? How much more can the buildings take? How much more can people take? We have no control over this whatsoever.

Mark Liddle, Christchurch

The first aftershock, magnitude 5.5, hit at 1pm and was a violent jolt, loud rumbling and shaking that lasted approximately 10 seconds.

I was in an office building and pictures fell from the walls and desktop items fell over. Things started to shift and lurch.

I joined a colleague under a desk to ride it out. We evacuated the building once the shaking stopped.

A moderate quake followed a few minutes later. I never knew solid objects such as walls could move and bend like that. It was incredible.

You only have a split second to decide where to take shelter. At that moment it's unclear whether you've made the right decision.

I then headed home to Rolleston. I was dealing with a flood from a broken pipe when the magnitude-6.0 quake struck.

As my home is around 30km from the epicentre this quake was a prolonged rolling with two distinct jolts. Items rattled loudly.

The surge of rise and fall motion under ground was pronounced. This lasted around 20 seconds. Local schools evacuated and closed.

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