"It's Really, Really Horrible"

A powerful earthquake rocked New Zealand -- her native country

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Bronny Cambridge works for Corky-McMillan at Liberty Station, but on Friday her mind was thousands of miles away.

    Cambridge was frantically trying to get information from family and friends from her native country New Zealand. So she turned to Facebook.

    "I've just spoken on chat and they've been saying that there's been some looting going on and lots of the historical buildings and all the bricks have come down, it's really, really horrible," Cambridge said.

    Her family members weren't affected by the quake because they live on the north island of New Zealand. But Cambridge has friends who live on the south island in the city of Christchurch.

    Powerful Quake Rocks New Zealand

    [DGO] Powerful Quake Rocks New Zealand
    From her home in Christchurch New Zealand, Lynn Cooper, a relative of a San Diego journalist describes the powerful earthquake that nearly shook her out of bed.

    The city was hit hardest by the 7.0 earthquake that struck during the early morning hours New Zealand time.

    "I think it's the aftershocks are what they're concerned about, having people downtown," Cambridge said.

    Some of her friends have been posting pictures of the damage in their neighborhoods. The pictures show fallen bricks and deep cracks on many sidewalks and roadways.

    So far, no one has been reported killed, but there have been many injuries. Cambridge said the devastation could have been much worse.
    "In comparison to the other earthquakes in Haiti and China, this is nothing in comparison to that," she said.

    "I heard it actually come before I felt it and then it rolled and there were jolts as well," said Lynn Cooper from her home in Christchurch New Zealand.

    The relative of a San Diego journalist described the powerful earthquake that nearly shook her out of bed.

    "All our sliding doors were going backwards and forward. We could hear things falling off all over the place all over the house,” Cooper said. "I was really scared I could hear my heart pounding."

    Lynn's home only suffered minor damage, but other areas of Christchurch, weren't so lucky.

    New Zealand Prime Minister John Key has flown to Christchurch to inspect the damage from a 7.1 magnitude earthquake and says it's an "absolute miracle" no one was killed. He says it could be months before the full extent of the damage is known, but initial Treasury assessments suggest it could cost at least $1.4 billion to repair.

    As evening approached and a damaged historic building near the city center burst into flames, officials ordered city residents to stay in their homes until tomorrow morning. Officials say the curfew will help prevent people from going near some 120 badly damaged inner-city buildings.

    Rescue workers also set up shelters at schools in suburban areas.

    There are reports of some people trapped but not crushed by debris.