A series of powerful earthquakes have hit the New Zealand city of Christchurch, destroying several buildings and sending boulders tumbling down hillsides. Six people suffered injuries.

New Zealand’s GNS Institute put the strongest of the quakes at a magnitude of 6.0 at 2.20pm (0220 gmt) with the epicentre four miles east south east of the city at a depth of 5.6 miles.

Four tremors above 4.3 were recorded from 0029 GMT.

Shopping malls and office buildings were evacuated across the city, which is still trying to recover almost four months after a magnitude 6.3 earthquake killed 181 people and caused extensive damage.

A building in the city centre collapsed and minor damage occurred in buildings affected in previous earthquakes, Christchurch Police spokesman Steven Hill told Reuters.

“The building has been checked and been given the all-clear,” Mr Hill said.

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