A 7.8 magnitude earthquake has just hit the south island of New Zealand; a few minutes after 12 midnight Sunday  It affected the eastern coast of the island near Christchurch. The quake was followed by a tsunamin sending over a hundred thousand persons from their homes.No deaths have so far been reported.
New Zealand lies in the Pacific Quake Belt. The country is in the South pacific ocean east of Australia, it comprises several islands; the largest being the North and South islands and has a population of about 4.7 million people.

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