The quake, located 20km south east of Hanmer Springs at a depth of 16km, was felt by the entire country and set off a series of aftershocks, the largest being a 6.2 magnitude quake near Wellington
A powerful 7.8-magnitude earthquake has jolted New Zealand's South Island and triggered a tsunami, sending people running into the streets in a panic.
The quake struck around 50 kilometers (around 30 miles)northeast of the city of Christchurch just after midnight local time on Monday, the US Geological Survey reported, and triggeredwaves of 2.49 meters above usual tide levels, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) said.
In Christchurch, memories of a devastating 6.3-magnitude earthquake in 2011 are still fresh for many. That quake killed 185 people and injured thousands, and reduced swathes of the city's historic area to rubble.