Authorities reportedly closed the inner city after Friday's quake and asked people to leave as a precaution.
The city has been rocked by hundreds of quakes since a magnitude-6.1 in February 2011 killed 185 people and destroyed much of the downtown.
The United States Geological Survey reported the 4.7 temblor struck at about 2:45 p.m. Friday and was centered about 27 kilometers (17 miles) east of Christchurch.
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