A Waiau local says roads around the epicentre of this morning's quake are blocked by massive landslides and deep cracks that stretch for miles.

Kelvin Hooper said he has blocked from returning to his Waiau home after travelling to Christchurch for the weekend.

Hooper said he had only managed to get 10km from Waiau before coming to a complete halt.

"Out in front of us there's a bit of an S-bend and a bluff. There's quite severe cracks on the road, some of them I'd say are endless, you can just see water about six feet, cracks running up both sides of the road."


He said there were rocks strewn all over the road and he could see an entire hillside that had come down and gone across a paddock.

He said all entrances to the township were blocked.

As well as debris, roads to every entrance into the small north Canterbury township had slumped away.

Efforts to contact people were difficult as communication had been cut and people had to go to the top of the hill to get cellphone signals.

"We've tried to get hold of people and there's no cell phone coverage so we're not too sure about what's going on."