By: Blonde Two
Right then so there I am planning and taking photographs for a little Blonde tour of Wellington, all is peaceful and I am feeling completely relaxed having some “alone time” – what a lovely city this is … and then … just as I am sitting down to a nice flat white coffee in a cafe on the fabulous and unusual Cuba Street, the earth starts to move.
This wan’t my first earthquake (last one in Turkey) and, like Blonde One and altitude sickness, I have been reading up a bit on the topic. These two things and the Kiwi kids information film which promotes “Drop Cover Hold” as the action to take, were probably the reason that I was first of all the customers to be on my knees under the table, clinging on hard to the legs. It is amazing how comforting a table leg can be in a crisis!
Not as comforting, however, as the lovely young lady who saw that I was upset once we had all climbed out of our hidey holes (a bit ashamed of my wimpiness) and offered me “a cuddle”. The cuddle was duly accepted and went a long way to help.
The quake measured 6.6 and went on for what seemed like a long time with mostly sideways movement. I went outside quite soon after only to look up and remember that I was in a really old part of town with lots of stone facades up above me. This had me walking as quickly as possible towards the quays and the more modern buildings which were hopefully more earthquake proof. I am reliably informed that these tend to sway rather than break which can lead to falling glass – this has to be better than lumps of stone. The whole of Wellington appeared to be outside looking worried which made me feel lots worse.
I didn’t like being on my own and couldn’t get through immediately to any Kiwi Cousins so rang poor old Mr Blonde Two who was fast asleep in Devon. He fed me internet information which didn’t really make me feel better but hearing his voice definitely did. The aftershocks were quite strong as well and were still going on at 11.00 yesterday evening (the quake was at 2.30). What was weirdest (apart from your whole world moving) is the way that the birds went quiet and then all took off just before a shake.
I was eventually rescued by one of my calm Kiwi cousins after I had joined the mass exodus on foot (the traffic wasn’t going anywhere at that time). We made the rather odd decision to go to the cinema (earthquake proofed very recently) where there was a full rumblerama experience as aftershocks continued. It did occur to me that watching a film called “Worlds End” just after an earthquake might have been tempting fate a bit too much!