(FEBRUARY 21, 2011)CHRISTCHURCH,NZ- A 7.0-magnitude earthquake has struck off New Zealand's South Island, the US Geological Survey has said. The epicentre was 55km (35 miles) north-west of Christchurch, at a depth of 12 km (7.5 miles), it added.
Police said there had been widespread damage to buildings and roads as well as power cuts. Two men were seriously injured by falling masonry and glass. A state of emergency was later declared in Christchurch, New Zealand's second largest city with a 386,000 population.
The last fatal earthquake was in 1968, when a 7.1-magnitude tremor killed three people on the South Island's western coast.
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