This isn't something new to Wellingtonians or even New Zealanders but it definitely is to me!
Vera and I were sitting by the rumpus downstairs looking at presents to buy for Christmas on the computer. This was about 9 at night. All of a sudden without warning, there was a rumbling noise for a few seconds and then it started again and went on for about 15 to 20 seconds. That is when we realised that it was an earthquake. A picture frame on my table fell. We were literally shaken despite the fact that nothing was damaged.
We went upstairs to take a look at the kids, who were sound asleep and then we went out to see if anyone was awoken. It looked like we were the only ones looking out as everyone else went about their business and no one was outside. While the rest of Wellington went about their lives, we were sitting watching each other.
This morning's newspaper reported that the earthquake hit near Porirua (near where we live) at 9.09pm and it apparently measured 4.5 on the Richter scale. The earthquake was 30km underground and was felt as far as 100km north of the capital.
Geonet has details of earthquakes in New Zealand.
The last earthquake I felt was when I was in Indonesia. I was asleep then and I thought that a truck was passing by until I read about it in the local newspapers the next morning.
This really puts things in a different perspective. All this time I was growing up, earthquakes were something that was far away and only watched on TV. I have never previously known anyone having experienced an earthquake. We have now come to live in a place where earthquakes are part and parcel of life. And the New Zealand fault line is just 10km from where we live and about 1km from where I work. This is real! This is not some National Geographic documentary! Schools teach children what to do in an emergency. Disaster recovery and business continuity are major risk factors in doing business in New Zealand.
Spooky isn't it?