Good catch, Larry,
The earthquake was actually 7.4 (source NZ Geological Service) on the Richter Scale.
It struck here at 0435HRS.
I happened to be at work at the time and was standing up on one of the higher platforms on the potato lines at a factory I do the electrical work for, trying to replace a motor drive unit, luckily I had 2 bolts in the drive unit when the quake hit town.
Talk about Rock and Roll (Oh and hold on for dear life).
This area got off quite lightly, with very little damage.
However, further north in Christchurch (approx. 80 miles north), there are building collapses, roads closed with debris from them collapses, most of the area around ChCh has no power, phone (land-line or cell), problems with burst water mains and sewers.
What's more, with the East Coast of the South Island being a "plains-type" area we have a lot of rivers and with them come bridges, some places are cut-off until such time as a Structural Engineer can inspect and certify the bridges as safe, this is not a small task in itself.
Luckily though, there have been no reports of fatalities or serious injuries because of this quake.
Later on today, I'm going to head to Christchurch to relieve one of the Fire-fighters that will no doubt be working hard in the face of this incident.