A 6.3 magnitude earthquake has struck the New Zealand city of Christchurch, destroying dozens of buildings in the city centre and causing "multiple fatalities".
Law firm Duncan Cotterill was the first to updat it website, advising staff and clients that its offices have been evacuated. “Like the rest of Christchurch, we are in a state of shock! Please go home, check on your families, friends and neighbours,” the website stated.
Simpson Grierson was the next to post a message online: "The offices have been evacuated and the phone line has been diverted to the Wellington office."
Cavell Lietch Law has annouced that its office will be closed until further notice. Communication remains difficult as the firm's servers are down, "this means we presently have no access to emails via work," the website stated. Staff are communicating via private email addresses and mobile phones. All staff are being told to saty at home and care for themselves and family and friends.
The city was rocked by a 7.1 magnitude earthquake on 4 September last year, however it occurred in the early hours of the morning rather than at the peak of business activity,12.51pm (local time), which was when this latest one occured. The previous earthquake caused destruction and disruption for the firms in the region including Buddle Findlay, Cavell Leitch, Chapman Tripp, Duncan Cotterill and Simpson Grierson.
ALB will update when more information is available.
Christchurch law firms shaken by NZ earthquake 8 September 2010