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A sharp series of aftershocks have rattled New Zealand's earthquake-hit city of Christchurch. Quake experts say aftershocks likely will continue for several weeks with the worst of them possibly still to come.
Overnight on Monday, about 20 shocks including two with a magnitude of 5.4 shook the city. Another powerful trembler might hammer the region in coming days.
Warwick Smith, Seismologist, said, "We knew that this would go on for at least weeks. Aftershocks don't get smaller in a hurry, they do get less frequent."
More than 100 aftershocks have rattled the region since the weekend's major quake. Prime Minister John Key called off a planned nine-day trip to Britain and France, citing what he called the quake zone's continuing "instability."
John Key, New Zealand Prime Minister, said, "There's been further movement and aftershocks overnight, greater instability in the Canterbury region and look on balance as I said yesterday, I was considering it day by day. If it wasn't prudent, I wouldn't go. I've decided on balance, it wouldn't be prudent for me to leave. I'd rather stay and be here in New Zealand."
Saturday's powerful 7.1-magnitude earthquake smashed buildings and homes, wrecked roads,disrupted the central city and cut power to the region.
The city center remained cordoned off by troops on Tuesday, with only building owners and workers allowed in to begin clearing up the mess.