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New Zealand's Earthquake Literally Lifted The Sea Floor 2 Metres Into The Air

"So much destruction."

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Astonishing photos snapped after New Zealand's mammoth 7.8-magnitude earthquake show how the seabed burst 2 metres through the sand near the hardest-hit town, Kaikoura.

Environmental and engineering consultants Tonkin and Taylor tweeted aerial shots of the destruction on Wednesday, two days after the quake.

"This is not at all surprising as Kaikoura experiences the fastest uplift as it sits on the [tectonic] plates, which are pushing up under there," marine geologist Neville Exon told BuzzFeed News.

"The kelp positioned on top shows it is an uplift of the seabed through the sand a couple of metres," Exon said, commenting on a picture posted by Facebook user Anna Redmond.

"The kelp positioned on top shows it is an uplift of the seabed through the sand a couple of metres," Exon said, commenting on a picture posted by Facebook user Anna Redmond.

Anna Redmond/Facebook

"So much devastation," Redmond posted.

One photo shows a disgruntled crustacean adjusting to life above sea level atop a bed of seaweed and abalone.

Anna Redmond/Facebook

More than 600 Kaikoura residents were evacuated by boat and helicopter following the quake, which killed two people.

But Kaikoura's sewerage system is still not working and many train tracks and roads remain in ruins.

Anna Redmond/Facebook

Some of the tourist town's population of 2,000 residents have chosen to remain at home until the roads are cleared.

Gina Rushton is a breaking news reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney.

Contact Gina Rushton at gina.rushton@buzzfeed.com.

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