Well, that was scary. We were asleep when last night’s big earthquake started, but we were awake within seconds, and racing upstairs to get the kids out of bed and into doorways. I felt a heavy rocking motion, and our house seemed to keep on quivering for quite some time, possibly up to a minute. The earthquake itself only lasted for about 15 seconds, but our wooden house did exactly what it was supposed to do, and moved with it, and kept on shivering.
It was the biggest earthquake I have felt for many years. And it has reminded me that I really must sort my earthquake kit out – water, canned food, candles, matches, batteries, radio. Also coffee.
Last time the earth moved for me, back in February, it seemed to take about 10 or 15 minutes for the NZ Quakes app on my iPad to report it. This time around, I have a app, GeoNetQuake, which is still in beta mode. The app gives almost immediate reports on quakes. After the shaking stopped, we brought the girls down to our bedroom for a few minutes, to talk and to reassure them, and to find out what we could about it. Within just four minutes, we knew that the epicentre was about 60km south of Opunake on Taranaki’s south coast, so it was about 150km from us, it was about 230km deep, and it was about 6.5 on the Richter scale. The information was nearly instant. By this morning it had been updated: about 7 on the Richter scale.
It was probably an overreaction, getting the girls out of bed, but it was one of those instant decisions. Better to be safe and all that. And a good drill for when a really big earthquake hits.