WELLINGTON, New Zealand — A powerful 7.1-magnitude
earthquake damaged buildings, cut power and knocked fleeing residents
off their feet on New Zealand's South Island early Saturday, but there
were so far no deaths and only two injuries reported.
residents in their pajamas ran into the streets of the southern city of
Christchurch after the pre-dawn quake, residents said. There were
reports of some people trapped in damaged buildings — though none
appeared to be crushed by rubble — and a few looters broke into some of
the damaged shops in the city of 400,000, authorities said.
and walls had fallen from older buildings, roads had been blocked,
traffic lights out and power, gas and water supplies disrupted,
Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker said. He warned that continuing
aftershocks could cause masonry to fall from damaged buildings.