The Recent New Zealand Earthquakes

Regarding the recent earthquakes:

I am tired and shaky, but okay. I woke up at 12:02 a.m. to my bed rolling gently up and down, moving quite a ways. At first, I thought it was someone walking down the hall, but figured that didn’t make sense because it hadn’t happened before. I rushed out to the hallway and said, “What is that?” My host family said, “That’s an earthquake. This is what happens in an earthquake.” We stood in the hallway as the entire house rocked back and forth for two or three minutes. It was a long one, and my scientist self was fascinated by it once I knew I’d be okay. In agricultural terms, it was like riding a well made hay wagon…only it was an entire house on the hay wagon.

I went back to bed and tried to go to sleep, but my bed continued to rock. I returned to the kitchen and sat out there for quite some time, not feeling the quakes as much. The confidence of my host family helped a lot. I watched my NZ earthquake app and was amazed at the frequency of them. I was able to get to sleep around 2 this morning.

I got up around 7 and learned that there were around 150 throughout the night. I also tried to walk. Some may know that walking is not always my strong point, but this time, trying to move was strange. I felt like the house was still moving and I was constantly leaning sideways or falling backwards. It’s been like that all day, wherever I go.

There was some damage near the beach in Christchurch, but I haven’t yet seen anything in my area southwest of the city. We are protected from the sea by hills. The major damage is up north, where they lost power at the dairy farm and the town there. Kaikoura, one of my favorite places, where I flew the plane and swam with dolphins, has lost power, water and sewerage in part due to a tsunami. It could be days before that is restored. There was a landslide over a road I’d traveled.

Here, there are still aftershocks happening, and I feel them and learn to just keep talking and working or go back to sleep. They only last about ten seconds. At times, I think I feel one, but it’s not actually anything.

So I am safe, I am very lucky to be where I am, I am with good people, and I am thankful for engineers who can figure out things like building houses that roll.

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