Some Christchurch residents were given a "rude awakening" this morning, with a magnitude 4.4 earthquake striking at 5am.

The quake was centred 10km northeast of Christchurch, off the coast of north New Brighton, at a depth of 8km.

GNS Science said the quake was widely felt in Christchurch, and received reports it was felt as far north as Greta Valley and south as far as Marchwiel.

One Saint Albans resident told GNS the quake was slightly damaging, while another seven in and around the city reported it was a strong earthquake.


Several Christchurch residents wrote on Twitter that this morning's quake woke them up.

"A lurch and now awake in St Albans. Started with a loud rattle and jolt," Donna Robertson (@kebabette) said.

"Think that's known as a "rude awakening" but not the good kind!" Jennifer Moreton (@jmoretonnz) wrote.

This morning's quake followed several over the weekend, including a strong magnitude 5.2 jolt on Friday afternoon, the strongest for the city since January.