via stuff.co.nzChristchurch has been cordoned off in some areas since the first quake, but fresh barriers are up again after the latest aftershocks this weekend.
Some businesses have reported worse damage than the first time, with a few buildings being evacuated.
Our peaceful night didn't happen with two aftershocks; the first at midnight was strong enough to get us up.... Torch, check, radio, check, water, check.... Clothes!.... Amazing how you soon forget and how fast adrenaline reminds you.
Cordons returned to inner-city Christchurch yesterday as did uncertainty and fear.
The swarm of strong aftershocks yesterday sent people scurrying for safety and forced officials, just entering holiday mode, back to work and the biggest earthquake operation since the 7.1 magnitude quake on September 4.
While some inner-city spots were shut off, officials said public safety was paramount. Police manned the cordons overnight.
The cordons would stay while emergency services assessed more than 20 buildings believed to have been damaged. There was no formal evacuation but property owners and customers will not be allowed back until the assessments are done.
Twenty buildings were known to have been damaged and 10 Civil Defence teams would continue assessing them today.
Once Civil Defence staff were finished, individual building owners could work through the remediation process with their insurers. Building owners returning after the holidays who discovered damage should consult their own engineers and insurers.
Environment Canterbury (ECan) said yesterday's shakes were still part of the normal aftershock sequence from the September 4 earthquake. They were the largest swarm of aftershocks since mid-November.
"It is not unusual to get significant aftershocks several months after a large earthquake, and it is not unusual to have them in swarms or groups," an ECan spokesman said.
Because the aftershocks were centred closer to Christchurch, they were felt more strongly.