>> Deadly and powerful earthquakes sending New Zealanders scrambling to high ground. Two dead after a 7.8 magnitude quake struck early morning northeast of Christchurch. Then came a tsunami, hundreds of aftershocks into the morning, and another strong quake, eight hours later.
uters Greg Stutchbury was jolted awake hundreds of kilometers away in the capital, Wellington.
>> It was a big quake, and it woke a lot of people up. And a tsunami warning came out about 1 AM, and people started to move inland in, or to higher ground. There were people sleeping in cars. People take a good luck here in Wellington. People's nerves are getting frayed, obvious to speak.
They seemed to have these really big aftershock. One, the 5.7 and then to 6.0, and they just rolling together, and these quakes are just lasting for a really long time.>> With daylight, the impact becoming more apparent. Wide cracks breaking up roads and railways torn apart.>> There's a lot of damage to buildings and infrastructure.
Fortunately, very few fatalities, only two at this stage. In the areas like Kaikoura and Cheviot where the epicenter was, they've just shown on the television news, a house which was moved six meters off its foundation.>> Police say Kaikoura was the scene of one of the deaths, the other was at a ski resort near Christchurch.
Prime Minister John Key is sending emergency response teams to affected areas by helicopter, on reports of injuries and collapsed buildings. Kaikoura is virtually cutoff with phones and power down, leading officials to caution, the death toll could rise.