Monday 14th of November, around midnight, we could live one of the biggest earthquakes in New Zealand’s history. It was a 7.5 quake, that woke us up during night and made everything shake in the house. That was a scary and impressive moment.
Earthquake or when the Earth cracks
This post is made just to share our experience of the huge earthquake that happened in New Zealand on the past night. I was already sleeping, while Pierre was watching some Youtube videos next to me. All of a sudden, we could feel the bed quivering. Pierre woke me up and as I opened my eyes, I saw the lamp moving back and forth. As soon as I realized what was happening, I just jumped off the bed and located myseld under the desk to protect me. The experts said that we lived two severe earthquakes at the same time which lasted 2 minutes. Those 2 minutes were so long! So long!
That was the first time we experienced an earthquake and that was very impressive. It is hard to describe the feeling. You just realize how fragile and unsteady the Earth can be. You really have that moment when you wonder if that could be your last moment, if the house is going to collapse on you. You definitely are panic-stricken.
Now, 48 hours after, we can still feel a post-traumatic atmosphere in the city. The experts counted 184 aftershocks during the 24 hours following the earthquake. Consequently, we often feel some small quakes time to time. Pierre and I often feel dizzy when standing up, wondering if this is because of a small aftershock or just because we start to become a bit paranoid. Most of the time, after checking https://www.geonet.org.nz (the official source of geological hazard information in New Zealand, where you can get informations in real time about quakes), we realize that it was actually due to an aftershock. Some roads have been closed, the CBD (Central Business District) which is one of the busiest place of Wellington was a no-go zone the day following the earthquake. A tsunami alert followed the earthquake and this place was a risk area. I am actually working in this district, so my boss gave the staff a day-off dfor safety reasons. Even though, there were not too many people injured, two persons died and some buildings and roads were damaged… that is obviously terrifying at the end.
After the earthquake, life goes on
Two days after, the weather was stormy and the city suffered floods with some roads closed because of the water. We actually had the feeling that Mother Nature was going berserk. Disturbing feeling. However, we also felt solidarity among people and it makes you feel more humble about your size and importance in the world. The experts think that New Zealand should suffer another big earthquake in the coming month. Everybody knows about it, but well, we all keep living as usual. As travellers, we could have decided to leave the country, but we feel good here and want to keep discovering. The earthquake has not been felt everywhere in the country, so one should relativize and not think that the country has become unsafe. This is Nature, and Nature is unpredictable.
Anyways, if you wonder how to keep yourself informed about the quakes, we recommend you to check https://www.geonet.org.nz/. There, you can have real-time information about all the quakes happening in the country, their location and intensity. You should not forget that New Zealand is in the deforming plate boundary zone, which consequently implies several quakes all year long. After the big earthquake and after sseing life going back to normal few days after, we just feel like there is a reason to be scared, but no reason to get stuck into fear. At the end, it is a beautiful life lesson and we really enjoy the feeling now.