Powerful New Zealand earthquake rocks Christchurch

FRESNO, Calif.

Pauline Jendro said her brother lives in a rural area near Christchurch. He's okay, but her sister- in-law lives just outside of the city, and with phones out, Jendro still hasn't been able to reach her.

Jendro said she heard an aftershock as she talked to her brother's neighbor. "I could almost feel it from here. You could hear all the dogs going absolutely nuts.

They have sheep dogs and cattle and you could hear the dogs going absolutely berserk," said Jendro.

Video taken moments after the earthquake shows people running for their lives. Others cried in the streets, still stunned over what they witnessed. Some workers had to be pulled out of buildings after the ground beneath them disappeared.

"The floor just went from underneath you, and then the ceiling just came to meet it and we were in a spot about three feet and that was it. And, but luckily we were sort of not at the edge of the building. I think if we were at the edge of the building rather than about two meters in, we would've been squashed," said Jeff McClay, who had to be rescued out of his office building.

So far, Jendro has been unable to reach her sister-in-law. What she's seeing and hearing sounds horrible. Video shows smashed cars and dust filled streets.

"If they're evacuating the hospitals, God knows where they're evacuating them to, because there are buildings falling down all over the place," said Jendro.

For now, the exact death toll is unknown. But Christchurch's mayor declared this is going to be a black day for the shaken city.

Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.