Phone footage captured the moment a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck Nelson just after midnight local time (11:02 GMT on Sunday). The origin of the quake was registered by the US Geological Survey some 95km (59 miles) from Christchurch on New Zealand's South Island.
Following the quake, a tsunami hit the north-eastern coast of the island. Authorities warned residents to evacuate coastal areas and head inland, or onto higher ground.
Christchurch is still recovering from a deadly earthquake in 2011, which destroyed the city centre and killed 185 people.