The shoreline near Kaikoura changed in an instant:
Dramatic aerial pictures reveal the scale of the devastation caused on the coastline north of Kaikoura, on the country's South Island.
Scientists say the seabed lifted an estimated two metres on the foreshore and admit they have never seen anything like it.
It comes as rain and strong winds battered central New Zealand on Thursday, threatening further damage - just days after the quake killed two people and sparked with huge landslides.
More than 1,000 tourists and residents have since been evacuated from the small seaside town by a fleet of helicopters and a naval vessel since the 7.8 magnitude quake struck early on Monday.