It was a normal Sunday afternoon on Waiheke island when, at 4.01pm the first of two earthquakes hit!
The first was a 3.1 on the richter scale striking at 4.01pm. This shook our house a fair amount and was the first earthquake we have experienced here in New Zealand. This was then followed by a stronger earthquake 4 mins later at 4.05pm – which was a 3.9, and fairly shallow at only 6km deep. This time the house shook a lot more, and it lasted longer – probably around 15-30 seconds. This made us pretty scared! It really felt this time like the earthquake wasn’t going to stop and we looked at each other in shock. It was classed as a ‘moderate’ strength earthquake by the geonet website – see more details here. Over 10,000 people in the Auckland area reported feeling it. It is also the largest in the region since 2007.
Read the NZ Herald’s report of it here.
Once it had stopped we immediately started looking online for earthquake plans and what to do if an earthquake hits (it makes you realise how little you know). We know earthquakes are fairly rare in this area but we were worried another even stronger one was going to hit. We read the advice to ‘drop, cover and hold’ and also allocated an area in our holiday house which might be safest for us. This might seem over the top but until you have experienced an earthquake – even a small one – it is hard to know how scary and helpless you feel. It is completely our of your hands and you are completely at the mercy of nature.
We know these were only very small earthquakes, especially compared to Christchurch, which was obviously on our minds and it made us think and realise – clearly only a tiny amount – how scary and awful the earthquakes that hit there must of been, and how horrible it must have been for all of the people.
So putting things in perspective we know it was nothing compared to the Christchurch tragedies, but it is certainly newsworthy for this part of New Zealand! Facebook groups had popped up within minutes dedicated to ‘I survived the Auckland earthquake!’. Many many people had taken to twitter and #auckland was even trending. It certainly was big news, and something we won’t easily forget!