yesterday evening we had an earthquake.
John and I were in the depot to unload the van when it started. First the door began to rattle and I thought it was the wind. But that would have been very mysterious; there was no wind that evening. Then the ground began to rock and roll, like a pontoon in the harbour and the lamps started to rock fearfully. After half a minute or so the whole spook was over. I don't know how other earthquakes are but this one was very quiet, no rumbling or other loud noises and no shaking, it was more like a wave.
As we arrived at a petrol station 15 minutes later to refuel the van it looked all tidy there. Only a couple chocolate bars (really a couple, 2 pieces) had moved from the left to the right on the shelf.
The attempt half an hour later to find out where the epicentre was and how strong the earthquake had been became a mission impossible. At half past nine nobody is working here (except courier drivers) not even the scientist for earthquakes and other catastrophes. This morning in the news on television they said the epicentre was in Fjordland (Westcoast) closed to the coast.
The quake had an magnitude from 7,8 at the Richter scale. What is real strong but in that area lives nobody (beside some deer and opossums). Fjordland is a big National Park and so there are no bigger damage to complain about. People said that there were aftershocks the whole next day but we didn't notice them here in Dunedin, it is too far away from the epicentre. In Invercargill and Te Anau the people must have felt much more of it. Later in the news on TV one (our broadcasting service) it was told that there are some damage at houses and shops in Invercargill.
We are alright and nothing bad happened here in Dunedin or our home (even the books were still on the shelf). The people here take earthquake quite easy; it is part of the usual everyday business. But it is a strange feeling if the ground is swinging under your feet.......
For more information about the earthquake click on following link
The earthquake in Christchurch in September 2010 had "only" an magnitude from 7.1 and the last one that destroyed so much had "only" 6.3!!!