New Zealand Earthquake Inquest Disrupted by New Quakes

Posted June 13th, 2011 at 12:05 am (UTC-5)
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Two earthquakes hit near New Zealand's quake-ravaged city of Christchurch Monday, forcing the evacuation of a building where officials were conducting an inquest into an earlier deadly quake.

Police say there have been no reports of serious injuries in Monday's quakes. Authorities say two people were rescued from the Christchurch Cathedral where a tower collapsed killing sight-seers in the earlier quake in February. An empty building also collapsed Monday.

Reporters said officials briefly adjourned an inquest into the February quake and ordered everyone out of the building in response to the latest quakes. The February earthquake killed 181 people, including dozens of students at a foreign language school, and did $11 billion in damage.

The U.S. Geological Survey measured Monday's first quake, which hit at 1:00 p.m. , nine kilometers from Christchurch, at a magnitude of 5.2 and a depth of 11 kilometers.

The second quake, measuring 6.0, struck at 2:20 p.m. (0220 UTC)) and hit 13 kilometers from Christchurch at a depth of nine kilometers.

The deadly earthquake in February had a magnitude of 6.3.