A strong 5.7 earthquake hit the South Island on Tuesday evening, toppling chimneys, closing a key road to Kaikoura and leaving spooked residents sleeping outside.
The 23km deep quake struck 20km southeast of Culverden at 6.13pm.
Damage, including toppled chimneys, has been reported in the North Canterbury town of Waikari.
Canterbury Civil Defence said Inland Rd, the only route connecting Kaikoura to the rest of the region, had been closed because of the risk of further slips occurring after the quake.
The road would remain closed Wednesday morning, until engineers had assessed it. Assessments were expected to be completed by midday.
The closure meant a Defence Force convoy scheduled to ferry supplies into Kaikoura would not leave in the morning as planned.
Canterbury Civil Defence duty controller Brett Aldridge said people's safety was the top priority and staff would open the road as quickly as possible.
The quake was part of a cluster, starting at 6.10pm, ranging from magnitude 4 upwards.
More than 4000 people have reported feeling the quakes on the GeoNet website.