WELLINGTON, Nov. 14 (Xinhua) -- The New Zealand capital is in shutdown following a deadly quake that rocked much of the country early Monday.
At least two people were killed when a 7.5-magnitude quake centered on the northeast of the South Island rocked much of New Zealand just after midnight Monday.
The quake was strongly felt in Wellington and has been followed by hundreds of aftershocks.
Wellington Mayor Justin Lester urged people to stay at home Monday and not to enter the central business district.
"There is damage to some CBD buildings and liquefaction in waterfront areas," Lester said in a post on Facebook.
A tsunami warning had been issued for coastal areas expected to remain in place until Monday evening.
Ferry and train services in and out of Wellington had been cancelled, and buses were operating but not to timetables.
The Ministry of Education had advised that all schools in Wellington were to remain shut until buildings had been checked and exams scheduled for Monday had been postponed.
The Wellington City Council Facebook page said forecast high winds later Monday could dislodge broken glass and other materials from buildings damaged in the tremors.
Council inspectors were sweeping the city to do external rapid assessment checks on buildings in the central business district and in suburban commercial areas in the wake of the big quakes.
"However it is likely that not all buildings will be able to be made safe and there is a risk the forecast winds of up to 140 km/h could bring glass and other materials into the streets," Wellington city civil defense controller Simon Fleisher said in the post.
Wellington regional civil defense controller Bruce Pepperell said in the post that early indications were that a number of major buildings were showing "signs of structural stress."
Prime Minister John Key has called off talks in Argentina this week as his government deals with the aftermath of the earthquake.
Key said Monday that he had postponed a trip to Buenos Aires Tuesday for a series of meetings aimed at strengthening New Zealand's trade, economic and political ties with South America.
However, he hoped to attend the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) Economic Leaders Meeting in Peru on Nov. 19 and 20 if circumstances permitted.
The decision on whether the trip to APEC would go ahead would be made later this week. Enditem