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Wellington checks on quake damage

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 13/11/2016
The Wellington waterfront after this morning's earthquakes. © Jodi Ihaka / twitter The Wellington waterfront after this morning's earthquakes.

Wellington appears to have escaped with largely superficial damage from Monday morning's earthquake, with the city much quieter than normal for the start of the working week.

The city's port was closed while they assess the damage, with cracks in the concrete reported. Containers stacked six-high could be seen from across the port leaning against each other and logs had been tossed around on Waterloo Quay.

The BNZ Building on the quay, which was closed for weeks after the 2013 quake, again suffered damage and was cordoned off with police tape.

Some ground floor windows had popped out of their frames and there was broken glass in the foyer area. Further down the quay, the quake had damaged the pavement outside Westpac Stadium.

Wellington regional civil defence controller Bruce Pepperell said a number of major buildings are showing "signs of structural stress" and many will have to be checked for damage.

He advised inner-city workers not to travel into the CBD.

He said widespread liquefaction has been reported on reclaimed land around the waterfront.

Broken glass also littered some streets, but the visible damage was not as bad as the 2013 tremor.

However, it was a sleepless night for many.

Ross Maley, who is visiting Wellington with his wife and three children from Motueka, was woken on the fifth floor of his central city hotel.

"We stayed outside until 2.30am ... we were watching it on GeoNet and reluctant to go back inside," he told NZ Newswire.

Earthquake damage to State Highway 1 is seen south of Kaikoura. 7.8 magnitude earthquake: In pictures
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