• A series of strong earthquakes have struck the New Zealand city of Christchurch, rattling buildings, sending goods tumbling from shelves and prompting terrified holiday shoppers to flee into the streets.

  • The 5.8-magnitude quake struck afternoon 16 miles (26 kilometers) north of Christchurch at a depth of 2.5 miles (4 kilometers), the US Geological Survey said. The quake was followed by a series of sharp aftershocks, including one with a magnitude of 5.3 and a depth of just 1.8 miles (3 kilometers).