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Earthquake rocks Australian cities

An earthquake has shaken cities in north-eastern Australia.

No damage has been reported and no tsunami warning issued after the 5.2-magnitude quake struck about six miles below the sea floor and about 80 miles south-east of the coastal city of Townsville in Queensland state.

Townsville councillor Natalie Marr said the quake was felt in the city, but there are no reports of damage.

Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported from Queensland that residents in several towns and cities along the coast felt the quake.

A magnitude 5.2 quake also struck New Zealand, including the devastated city of Christchurch where power was cut to thousands of homes, officials said.

The tremor that struck Christchurch was far less powerful than one that levelled office blocks and homes in the city on February 22, killing at least 169 people.

Energy supplier Orion said the quake cut power to about 20,000 homes and businesses in the city, but officials are working quickly to restore service. No other damage was reported.

Christchurch has been hit by scores of aftershocks since the February disaster.

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