The destructive earthquake which hit Christchurch early today has caused widespread communications and travel disruptions.
An historic pub in the South Canterbury town of Temuka has been badly damaged by today's earthquake and the proprietor is unsure when it will reopen.
Darfield baker Daryl Collier thought a train had come off the rails and was coming through the back of his building when the 7.1 magnitude earthquake hit the Canterbury town about 4.30am today.
Weary Canterbury residents struggling to cope with this morning's devastating earthquake will also have to cope with a storm, forecasters say.
It is a blessing no one died in the massive earthquake which rocked Canterbury this morning, Civil Defence Minister John Carter said after crisis meetings in the Beehive.
Geologists say Canterbury is riddled with more earthquake-generating fault zones than previously thought - some as close as 20km to central Christchurch.
The magnitude 7.1 earthquake which struck Canterbury about 4.30am today rates among the top dozen to hit New Zealand.
Looters have reportedly hit central Christchurch after a devastating earthquake hit the city early this morning.