Broken wine bottles in Fresh Choice Nelson after a 6.6 earthquake rattled most of the country, including Nelson early Monday morning. Photo: The Grocer/Facebook.

Power out after quake

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A massive 6.6 earthquake centered in North Canterbury has shaken Nelson from its sleep and left power out to the majority of the city.

The earthquake struck in the first few minutes of Monday, November 14, and was felt widely across the country, including the top-of-the-South.

Geonet reported that the quake was 16km deep and centered 20 km south-east of Hanmer Springs, which is in North Canterbury. It was rated “severe” by the government-sponsored earthquake agency and struck at 12.02am.

The quake knocked out power to large parts of the region, including Stoke, Tahunanui, Victory and Atawhai. On social media people reported power lines in Tahunanui sparking “like fireworks” after the quake.

Network Tasman said on its website shortly after 1am: “We have had multiple power outages at present as a result of the earthquake. We are working to restore supply.”

People were quick to take to social media after the shake.

“OMG, that was a goodie, rocking for ages the water in the swimming pool was rushing up over the sides in waves,” wrote Grace Clark.

Others asked if people in Christchurch were ok saying “it went forever”.

Tasman District Council has tweeted: “Use torches, not candles, boil the jug if you have power – have a cuppa, and stay calm. Use texts not phone call. Support each other.”

Fresh Choice Nelson owner Mark A’Court posted photos to social media showing damage at the supermarket, including smashed wine bottles.

Civil Defence has also issued a tsunami warning for all southern coastal areas of New Zealand and urged residents of the South Island’s east coast to move inland or to higher ground.

More to come.