The only certain thing about quakes…

Wellington Harbour - unbelievable calm

…is their uncertainty.

At 10.07 last night Wellingtonians received an unwelcome jolt – an earthquake registering 4.5 on the Richter scale. We were shocked out of our reverie.

It’s not unusual for Wellington – a fault line runs through our city. We’re accustomed to little jolts and usually look at each other saying “Did you feel that?” They’re quickly forgotten as we get on with whatever else we were doing.

How different life is now!

Following the 4 September 2010 quake in Christchurch, and then the devastating quake just seven days ago, our attitude has changed.

Last night during and after the five second quake, my heart raced. I felt sick to the pit of my stomach. Anxiety took over. Were our loved ones ok? Where was the quake centered? Were we feeling the effects on another even bigger one in Christchurch or another on the way?

We waited … we went straight to the internet to see if there’d been an update … we waited … we watched the 10.30 News hoping for more information … relief with the news that the quake was centered in Cook Strait … we waited … this is only a minute fraction of what the folk in Christchurch are experiencing …

Sleep, which did not come easily, was disturbed.

Listening to the radio this morning I found I was not alone. Even the hardiest have been shaken.

We’ve been reminded just how fragile life is.

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