I keep getting asked what it was like so ...
I was sound asleep when I got woken up by the initial jolt. I realised straight away it was an earthquake; the house was shaking - side to side and up and down!! Very scary.
As a teacher I have taught disaster units where we have looked at such disasters as the Napier earthquake. During my life time I have felt other earthquakes.
My natural inclination is to want to get outside but that night I could not get out of bed, the whole house was shaking so much I could not have stood up. I have just heard about someone I know who did try to get out of bed and now has a broken ankle.
I just lay in bed, held onto the side of the bed and waited for things to stop. When they finally did stop I realised that nothing much had happened here - the power was still on and I did not realise about the water at that point.
I went outside and there was an awful smell of sulphur, that was from the estuary which had been bubbling stuff up. It was very quiet everywhere and quite eerie.
Family members and friends rang each other to make sure everyone was OK.
At that stage I did not realise how serious things were as none of the houses near mine were damaged. It was only when daylight came and accounts were on TV and radio that the full impact of what was happening struck. I certainly did not venture out on Saturday as I thought that it was better that people stayed off the streets.
It is not an experience you want!!