Queen Elizabeth sends personal message to Christchurch on earthquake anniversary

Queen Elizabeth says her thoughts are with the people of Christchurch as the city pauses to remember the 10-year anniversary of the deadly earthquake.

The 6.3-magnitude earthquake killed 185 people and shook New Zealand to its core, when it struck at 12:51pm on this day 10 years ago.

Christchurch fell silent at 12:51pm on Monday in remembrance of those killed.

In a statement, Queen Elizabeth said the quake impacted "many people in New Zealand and around the world".

"On the 10th anniversary of the Canterbury earthquakes, as you gather to remember those lost and reflect on the devastating effects these earthquakes had on Christchurch, my thoughts are with you all," the monarch said.

"While there are many sad memories of that terrible time, there is also solace in remembering how your community rose to the challenge of rebuilding your lives and supporting each other.

Queen Elizabeth.
Queen Elizabeth. Photo credit: File

"You displayed great fortitude in the face of sudden, overwhelming loss."

Queen Elizabeth said Christchurch had continued to rebuild and look for a positive future.

"My prayers are with all those marking today's solemn anniversary."

A service has just taken place at the Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial in Christchurch, attended by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy.