The epicenter of the first magnitude 5.2 earthquake was located nine kilometers southeast of Christchurch, hit by an earthquake in February. Ninety minutes later, another earthquake of magnitude 6.0 occurred eight miles northeast of Christchurch. The third quake of magnitude 4.6 was recorded then seven miles east of the city.
Late February, magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck Christchurch, more than 240 dead or missing. Several buildings in the city, including the cathedral, were destroyed and some neighborhoods have become uninhabitable. Damage totaled $ 15 billion.
New Zealand Prime Minister John Key described as “the darkest day of the country’s history.”