The clean-up has begun, but strong aftershocks and gale-force winds continue to rock New Zealand’s second biggest city, Christchurch, following the country’s worst quake in 80 years.
An overnight curfew was put in place in the city to stop people from getting close to loose debris, although that has now been lifted.
Some 500 buildings are thought to have been badly damaged, as the tremor ripped through roads, power cables and pipelines.
With strong aftershocks still hitting south Island many people were being advised to find alternative shelter. It meant many residents were forced to spend an uncomfortable night from home.
New Zealand prime minister John Key has described it as an ‘absolute miracle’ no one died in the 7.1 magnitude tremor.
He’s said it could take months before the full extent of the damage is known, but initial estimates put the cost at around one billion euros.
Meanwhile, hundreds of displaced people have been staying in emergency centres as the city slowly gets back on its feet.
Sitting between the Pacific and Indo-Australian tectonic plates, New Zealand is accustomed to strong quakes, however Friday’s massive tremor measured as one of the strongest ever recorded.