"Residents are reporting bodies lying in the streets of Christchurch following this afternoon's magnitude 6.3 earthquake.
Police said fatalities had been reported at several locations and that two buses had been crushed by falling buildings. Christchurch mayor Bob Parker has declared a state of emergency.
Christchurch resident Jaydn Katene told the Herald: "We've had friends in town call us and say there are just bodies lying around; lots of dead bodies outside shops just lying there just covered in bricks.
When it hit we were knocked to our feet. Everything in the house fell down, nothing was left still standing. There's more damage than the first earthquake, the roads are completely torn up; sewage coming up and flooding. It's crazy.
The elderly are all crying. The next-door neighbours around us were all bawling their eyes out, it was horrible. People can't get out of their houses," said Mr Katene.
We've seen cars halfway sunken into the road. We've heard there's a bus which is sunken halfway into the road just around the corner. Buildings are half-collapsed everywhere. It smells horrible. The roads are packed with cars. There aren't enough police or ambulances. Houses are all collapsing. It's pretty shocking; a total warzone."
There is nothing I can say about this - sympathy to all in Christchurch, and the hope that no family of any of our blogpals have had loss or harm. I am house-sitting for someone who went to NZ at dawn today and hope he is in Wellington and safe. We are all clinging to a hurtling ball of molten rock, and should never forget it.