Christchurch residents were shaken throughout the night by several aftershocks measuring between magnitude 3.2 and 4.2.
The city has been rattled by five aftershocks since 7pm last night.
The largest, a magnitude 4.3 quake, struck at 11.06pm. It was centred 10 kilometres east of Lyttelton and was 9km deep.
The quake was preceded by a magnitude 4.2 quake in the same location three hours earlier.
Several Twitter users described the first of the five earthquakes as "violent" and "bloody sharp".
A magnitude 4.2 struck in the same area at 12.51am this morning, which was followed by a magnitude 3.2 at 5.18am and a 3.5 at 6.02am.
Christchurch has experienced more than 10,000 earthquakes since 4.35am on September 4, 2010 when a 7.1 earthquake shook the city.
via stuff.co.nzIt has been too peaceful lately and we have all felt some anxiety. The calm before a big one.
Sure enough, a wee swarm last night to rouse us up again. They weren't bad - just unsettling and frequent. However, I always wonder when the moon is full if we will get more ( which is as scientific as the increased chance to coincide with whale strandings that I wrote about previously). Last night the moon was enormous...
I went to bed early about two hours after the first quake - tired after too many late nights this week. I commented that we would probably get more aftershocks as it was noticeable that the neighbours dogs were very restless, with a lot of barking. In our own house, our dogs were responding, with Poppy doing many rumbly low growls. There is certainly evidence overseas that dogs detect earthquakes before we do and It would not surprise me at all if that was triggering the different canine evening behaviour. That and the full moon of course!
Pleased to say Poppy is resting comfortably this morning... fingers crossed for a quiet day.