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.