Com­mu­nity re­acts to earth­quake


Palmer­ston North peo­ple shook, rocked, rolled and clutched their loved ones dur­ing the 7.5 quake that struck North Can­ter­bury on Mon­day.

Two peo­ple have been con­firmed dead fol­low­ing the quake, which was recorded near Han­mer Springs at 12.02am.

The earth­quake and af­ter­shocks have been felt by peo­ple from Auck­land to In­ver­cargill, with many res­i­dents in the wider Manawatu also be­ing jolted from their slum­ber.

We spoke to peo­ple on the streets of Palmer­ston North about their ex­pe­ri­ences dur­ing the quake.

Shale Reti, 17, said she did not know what to do as she had not ex­pe­ri­enced an earth­quake of that mag­ni­tude be­fore.

‘‘It was the scari­est one I’ve ever felt - one of the big­gest ones.

‘‘It was pretty freaky. The longer it went, the worse it got.’’

Palmer­ston North res­i­dent Katie Rus­sell said it was the most pow­er­ful earth­quake she had felt.

‘‘We’ve only ex­pe­ri­enced mild ones be­fore, def­i­nitely noth­ing as se­vere as that.’’

She said her young chil­dren had luck­ily slept through the or­deal.

‘‘It was like be­ing on a boat re­ally, a re­ally rocky sea. Not sort of shaky but more of a rolling sen­sa­tion.’’

Syd­ney-based David Mor­ton, who is vis­it­ing Palmer­ston North with his fam­ily, said he had not felt an earth­quake in about 20 years.

‘‘I knew what was hap­pen­ing and it seemed to be go­ing for quite a long time. It sort of built in the mid­dle and then it calmed down again. I was ex­pect­ing it to be a lit­tle bit more. But it was good that it wasn’t.’’

Grace Nepia, 16, said she tried to run out­side but kept on fall­ing over.

‘‘My house just lifted up and it was like it was mov­ing to an­other desti­na­tion.’’

Katie Rus­sell, 31, def­i­nitely felt the pow­er­ful earth­quake.

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