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Update: The USGS has downgraded the quake to a 7.2.
An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.4 7.2 has hit near the city of Christchurch, New Zealand, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
Christchurch is the second-largest city in New Zealand and has a population of about 340,000. The quake struck at about 4:30 a.m. on Saturday local time.