Powerful earthquake hits Christchurch, New Zealand

A magnitude 6.3 earthquake was recorded in Christchurch, New Zealand on Tuesday, causing widespread damage and killing at least 65 people. The South Island city was severely damaged and the death toll is expected to rise as victims are located in the wreckage.

Aftershocks continued to rock the city as rescue workers spent the night searching for survivors in the rubble. Emergency services have been pushed to the limit and video has shown injured citizens being loaded into personal vehicles because of the lack of available ambulances.

Christchurch is home to approximately 400,000 people. The seismic activity occured at around 1pm local time on Tuesday. In the aftermath of the earthquake, the city has been besieged by landslides.

The region experienced a magnitude 7.1 earthquake in September 2010 but no casualties were reported.

Photo: AP