Expert: 'Expect aftershocks to follow 4.6'

Last updated 16:01 20/01/2013

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Christchurch Earthquake 2011

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LATEST: Cantabrians should expect a series of aftershocks to follow last night's magnitude 4.6 quake.

The quake was the largest aftershock to hit the region since July of last year. 

The 4.6 tremor (initally reported by Geonet as 4.7) struck at 9.15pm, and was centred 15km west of Christchurch, at a depth of 10km. 

The shake was the strongest aftershock experienced in the region since a 4.8 quake on July 6, 2012. 

GNS Science duty seismologist Mark Chadwick told Newstalk ZB the tremor was felt widely.

GNS duty seismoligist Mark Chadwick said the quake, centered between Rolleston and Lincoln, was ''unwanted but not unexpected''.

''Cantabrians should expect a few tremors for the next few days, maybe a week...there might be a magnitude 3 quake but it should mostly be 2s,'' he said. 

There had been more than 3400 'felt it' reports on the GNS website, he said. 

A spokesman for Countdown supermarket in Rolleston said ''we lost a few things'' in the quake but said he could not comment further. 

A Earthquake Commission spokesman said home-owners with any new damage from Saturday's quake could file a new claim. 

It was too early to know whether the quake would be treated as a separate event. 

''We'll have a look at what sort of claims are coming in and then we make decisions from there,'' he said.

The quake was felt throughout the city by residents and visitors to the city enjoying evening shows put on by performers from the World Buskers Festival. 

Baritone diva Le Gateau Chocolat tweeted, "oh my God, 4.6 earthquake mid show - poetically mid "ship song". The earth literally rippled like a wave ...".

The quake caused a flurry of online traffic that overloaded Geonet's website, and many took to social media to comment. 

A Twitter user said, "Well that one got me out of my chair. I think I'm out of practice."

Another user outside of Christchurch tweeted, "That was a goodie Chch felt that in Ashburton - very out of practice. Heart just calming down."

There were no reports of damage or injury. 

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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