When Welly shakes

I just experienced my first earthquake ever. Quite possibly one of my most terrifying ordeals to date.

Wellington had a 5.7 magnitude earthquake at 9.06 this morning rated “severe” – deeply felt. This has been followed by  around twenty light to moderate earthquakes.

Something about this all taking place while I’m on the 6th floor of an old building isn’t very reassuring.

It was almost an hour ago, but I’m still rattled.

I was happily going about my day when the building abruptly began to shake. Like actually shake. A giant 12 storey building shaking from side to side – for at least 30 seconds.

I was on the phone at the time, and I started swearing incessantly.

My mind started working overtime, I was torn between diving under my desk and running for the stairs. But no one else was moving, everyone sat frozen as if in some suspended reality.

I now understand the term paralysed by fear.

Funnily enough I waited for the earthquake to be over to escape. The Irish girl opposite me and I left promptly. Very promptly. Fright and then flight.

We stood outside shaken. She smoked, I paced. The haunting sound of activation alarm rang in the distance.

We went back inside and everyone else was working as per. Significantly more chatter than usual, but nothing out of the ordinary for the majority.

I guess the locals are used to earthquakes. I’m not sure this is a feeling I want to get used to.

I’m still mildly terrified. Maybe not so mildly. My palms are sweaty, my hand slightly shakey and I’m looking at the window in anticipation of another.

My phone vibrated in my pocket from a text and I jumped a metre in the air.

Because if there was a big earthquake and you were on the 6th floor what would be your chance of survival? It’s a sobering thought, with horrific images of Christchurch fresh in the memory.

Productivity is at an all-time low. If you’re looking for me I’ll be working remotely (from under my desk)

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