Canterbury has been hit by one of the largest aftershocks since the 7.1 magnitude earthquake a month ago.
The 5.0 aftershock struck at 10:21 pm on Monday, 30 km east of Darfield, at a depth of 12km. GNS seismologist John Ristau says the quake would have been felt throughout the region.
Rangiora resident Hillary Lakeman says the aftershock is the biggest one she has felt for three weeks.
"It was quite a sharp shake and then a rolling movement," she said.
Ross Bellette says the tremor lasted for about 15 seconds, but his house, in the Christchurch suburb of Islington, continued shaking for a while afterwards.
Bruce Ward, who lives in Avonhead, said it was about the third worst shake since the initial earthquake. "The children's nerves are pretty shot - they just get over it and then they get another shake, and away they go again."
It was followed minutes later by a 4.0 tremor centred centred 20 kilometres east of Darfield, at a depth of 5km.
On Tuesday, a 4.4 aftershock struck at 6:29 am south of Darfield at a depth of 5km.