A 5.2 earthquake has struck Christchurch and despite no initial reports of damage, work in the central city red zone has been called off for the day.
The quake struck at 2.44pm on Friday, and was off the coast, centred 10km east of the city at a depth of 11km.
GNS Science said it would have been widely felt around Christchurch, with feedback to the GeoNet website indicating it was strong enough to cause furniture and appliances to move on smooth surfaces, and objects to fall from walls and shelves.
It was also strong enough to cause slight, non-structural damage to buildings.
The 1000 to 1200 workers in the city's red zone were sent home for the day, given the time of day the quake struck, a Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority spokeswoman told NZ Newswire.
Quakes of that size were generally followed by another similar shake about 60 to 90 minutes later and it was thought prudent to send them home, she said.
Indicator buildings would be checked to see if they had suffered damage.
Lyttelton Library and New Brighton Library had both been cleared to check for damage.
It was the 41st quake of magnitude 5 or above since September 4, 2010.The Fire Service said there had been no reports of damage and a St John ambulance spokesman said there were no reports of injury or an increase in the number of emergency calls received.
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