New Zealand's Lyttelton port closed after a 6.4 magnitude earthquake hit Christchurch, the nation's second largest city.
The port, on New Zealand's southern island, has suffered major damage. It is not clear how long it will remain closed, Chief Executive Peter Davie said.
Inchcape Shipping Services said container ships, tankers, bulkers and passenger vessels due in Lyttelton port in the next seven days face probable delays or closure.
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The port has suffered more damage than in a 7.1 magnitude quake on Sept. 4, 2010, Davie told the NZ Herald.
Road and tunnel access to the port, which has the southern island's largest container terminal, will remain shut until further notice, ISS said.
There are no gas fires in the immediate vicinity of the port area, but numerous buildings are on fire in Christchurch, ISS said.
The company said it has two vessels in port -- a German cruise liner Europa with 57 crew and 267 passengers, who were ashore in Christchurch when the earthquake struck. It has accounted for all the passengers and is attempting to return them to the ship.
The second vessel is a Korean research ship which has not incurred damage, ISS said.
The port, which handled 9.8 million tons of cargo in the year to June 30, 2010, has not yet determined the financial loss from the Sept. 4 quake, with estimates varying between $50 million and $200 million.
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