Shaky skaky

The ground was so excited I wrote a new blog post yesterday is quivered with excitement!

There was a magnitude 7.8 earthquake on the Richter scale, located about 200 km south of Wellington. The earthquake magnitude system is logarithmic, so a 7 is 10 times greater than a 6. The devastating Christchurch earthquake was a 6.3 magnitude, but that one was located centrally to the city which is one of the reasons it was so disastrous.

This time, there were two reported casualties (closer to the epicenter), and while there are a lot of reports of damage, they appear to be mostly of things and not people. Civil defense is asking people to avoid the city center so building integrity can be assessed and broken glass/exterior building damage can be assessed and cleared. There doesn’t appear to be any damage to our home. My White Sox baseball fell off it’s stand, but that was it really. Though I was a bit surprised that was it.

I was just about asleep when I felt the earthquake around midnight, the lump that was Andrew snoring next to me almost assured me it was fine, but the shaking kept on going. I eventually decided to wake Andrew as I grew more nervous and the ground was shaking harder. We both got out of bed and moved into a doorway where we were able to brace ourselves as the ground gave one good shake to see if it could knock us down, which it nearly did.

Once the earthquake was over, we were treated to aftershocks every few minutes since. (That was nearly 12 hours ago!) Fortunately, we’re not feeling many any more, but there were quite a few 5 and 6 magnitude  (oooh, there was another one, just a little shake) aftershocks til 4am and I still feel them a couple of times an hour.

On the upside, our home is above the blue line. We’re living on a peninsula, and after an earthquake longer than one minute (this one was two minutes) or if an earthquake knocks you down, there is a serious potential for a tsunami. It can come on fast, only 5 minutes after an off-shore quake, or build up over hours. The blue line means we’re not in the red zone. We’re also not in the orange or yellow zone, so we’re pretty safe from even a rare or extreme tsunami.

That being said, most of the homes around us are not so fortunate. We got in touch with friends living nearby to see if anyone needed a hand. Some of our friends live in a gorgeous home across from the beach, clearly in the tsunami red zone, so they brought their dogs over and we drank wine to calm our nerves. The tsunami warning was only downgraded this morning, so they stayed the night. There were some 1-2 m tsunami waves, but I haven’t heard of too much damage as a result from these yet.

And today there is a weather watch for severe gales with wind gusts potentially up to 150kmh this evening. Joy.

Hope you all have a far less exciting Monday!