A strong 5.7 magnitude earthquake struck Christchurch on Sunday.
The earthquake caused cliffs to collapse into the sea but no major damage to the city was reported.
The epicentre was 15 kms (9 miles) east of Christchurch and at a shallow depth of 15 km (9 miles), said the country’s seismological body Geonet.
Geonet said there were more than 40 aftershocks.
The quake came eight days before the anniversary of the deadly 2011 quake that caused upwards of NZ$40 billion of damage and took the lives of almost 200 people.
Police said there were no reports of major damage or serious injuries, but people were evacuated from several buildings. There were reports of some liquefaction.
The Christchurch City Council said cliffs around Sumner collapsed in several places along the surrounding coast, spreading largeclouds of billowing dust across the sea and hills.
“Obviously with a 5.7 magnitude earthquake so close to the eastern coast of Christchurch its certainly been a big shock for the city, a set back in terms of people’s confidence and feeling of security,” said Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel.