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Christchurch shaking again four months after big quake

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand — Christchurch was shaking again Sunday, with seven earthquakes sending terrified shoppers running into the streets, cutting power and damaging buildings.

The tremblors hit nearly four months after a magnitude-7.1 quake caused extensive damage in New Zealand's second largest city.

Sunday's biggest quake, measuring 4.9, struck at 10:30 a.m. near the city center, cutting power and evacuating malls packed with shoppers for post-Christmas sales and hotels full of holiday guests.

The local fire service reported significant structural damage to buildings in the city center, which was devastated by the 7.1 quake on Sept. 4, but there were no immediate reports of injuries, the Stuff news website reported.

A suburban liquor store said 70 boxes of wine and spirits were broken after being shaken off shelves, Radio New Zealand reported.

Sunday's swarm began with a magnitude-4.2 shake just after 2 a.m. and six more followed before noon. Most were shallow at about the same depth below the surface.

They followed two minor shakes on Christmas Day and one the day before, which were the first significant aftershocks of the September quake for nearly a month.