We have several stores in Christchurch and have managed to contact most but phone lines down.
There are now reports that people are trapped in partly collapsed buildings, including The Press building in cathedral Square and the Pyne Gould Guiness building.http://nz.news.yahoo.com/a/-/top-stories/8883867
Just read that and the comments below the article. One in particular sounds really scary -
"No geologist here, but last I checked ChCh was sitting on a large silt deposit there (unlike most other NZ places). Could it be just sliding into the ocean? Looks too much for the aftershocks or even a couple of unrelated quakes."
However, as he isn't a geologist, pray God he's wrong.
Are either of you anywhere near the quake? It's bound to cause massive communication problems, though, over a huge area.
EDIT: Just switched on BBC News 24 and the Deputy PM is speaking. He reckons a lot of the communication problem, very understandably, is due to overloading of the system.
Christchurch hospital is being evacuated ...