An earthquake that struck New Zealand shortly after midnight on Nov. 14 has led to the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) headquarters in Wellington remaining empty.

The headquarters, which opened in 2007, suffered internal damage from the quake. Engineers say it could take a year until the building is ready to be occupied again.

However, the Headquarters Joint Forces New Zealand (HQ JFNZ) remains open, as do other NZDF bases.

Ironically, an international fleet of warships that had gathered to commemorate the Royal New Zealand Navy's (RNZN) 75th anniversary in Auckland has been split, with US, Australian and Canadian ships joining RNZN ships off the coast of Kaikoura in the South Island of New Zealand — close to the epicenter of the 7.5 quake — to assist people stranded by quake damage that has forced the closure of the area's only access roads.

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