They're calling it the 'Wellington Earthquake' which is a little unfair since the town of Seddon is closer and has suffered more damage and its occupants have been patiently enduring a cluster of shakes for several days.
Our first taste of it was an earthquake on the small side Friday morning. Then, not long after 7 on Sunday morning, we felt a more moderate shake. Well, I didn't. I slept right through it but DH told me about it and enough people were talking about it to confirm that it did indeed happen.
Fast forward to just after five yesterday afternoon. DIL#2 and I were in church. The video we'd been watching (Focus on the Family's The Truth Project) had just concluded and our pastor had just stood to speak (and I imagine to get us into discussion groups which I hate) when the earthquake hit.
Magnitude 6.5 that rocked and rolled for over a minute. Not a small shake by any means.
The problem with being in church when an earthquake hits is that you don't want to be the first to exhibit a 'lack of faith' and dive under the chairs! Apart from a structural engineer (who knows our building intimately) and his wife and daughter (whose child was downstairs) no one moved. We should have followed their example.
I don't know what others were thinking, but I imagine I wasn't the only one praying.
As soon as it had stopped - and there was a time when it seemed that it would never stop - DIL#2 and I left. Neither of us had our cellphones and both of us wanted to check on our 'babies'. For her it was a simple matter: she just had to drive home and check that house and husband and babies were all standing (yes, even the youngest who, although not quite one year old and still the size of a seven or eight month old, is pulling herself up on all the furniture). For me: I had to get home, find my phone, and text or ring the family. One son, I suspected, was too far away to be in immediate danger, but I didn't know this until I'd pulled my laptop out and found out where the epicentre was.
We still have not heard from my husband's family who are in the capital but the reports we have had so far are not alarming. Streets and buildings are closed - including the university - but I suspect it's more of a precaution to assess damage.
Meantime, we go on with our lives as normal, even if we do jump at every loud noise and wonder if it's another earthquake about to shake us out of our complacency, and we are a little more vigilant about ensuring there are phones and torches by the bed in case another strikes while we're sleeping. Which reminds me: I need to ensure we have spare water on hand ... just in case.