For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
A strong earthquake hit the New Zealand capital, Wellington, with the epicenter some 75 kilometers away. Multiple aftershocks were felt in several cities. People had to leave their homes and train services halted, as evacuation centers were set up.
One quake of 6.5 magnitude at a depth of 10km hit the South Island town of Seddon at 02:31 GMT, with multiple aftershocks of slightly lesser magnitudes reported nearby in Blenheim, as well in Wellington. According to local media, additional aftershocks hit the country later Friday afternoon, just hours after the initial quake that rocked Wellington.
Chris Birks, the general manager of the Hotel d'Urville in Blenheim, near the quake's epicenter, told Reuters: "The building just shook and it went on and on and on. There's a lot of police out here and fire sirens going off. It's pretty frightening."