This morning at 4.35am we were hit by a 7.1 magnitude earthquake. The epicentre was about 30 km west of Christchurch and man, did we know about it. I woke to a rumbling that quickly got loud as the room started to shake. Lui and I bolted out of bed and made for the doorway as everything lurched. I could hear doors and cupboards banging, drawers slamming in and out, and the weird, almost supernatural rumbling all around. My instinct was to get outside where nothing could fall and trap me but I couldn't make it further than the doorway - it was too hard to run with the rocking and rolling and violent lurching. At last it subsided and I grabbed my coat and ran outside, shivering and shaking and listening to alarms, sirens, and barking dogs.
Lui hid somewhere. I went back inside and gathered food, phoned my family, ran outside each time there was an aftershock, and waited for Jon to come home from work. Eventually dawn broke and we checked out the house - amazingly there is no damage! We are incredibly lucky, especially given the damage to other parts of town. The power came back on at about 8.30am for us which was great - much kudos to the power companies, and in fact everyone who has worked so hard today to restore infrastructure - thank you all! We still have to conserve water, and boil before drinking and all that, but at least we have heat and light and internet.
Lui is incredibly spooked - he spent the day hiding under our bed, but he has at last come out and is slinking round, staring at everything with big eyes and flinching at every noise. It's going to take a few days for him to be back to normal I guess... the same can be said for everyone really. Thanks to everyone who has commented and emailed to see if I'm all right, I very much appreciate it! Here is an article with everything you ever wanted to know about The Big One of 2010: http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/4094979/Huge-earthquake-rocks-Christchurch
Here's hoping for a good night's sleep and a boringly uneventful day tomorrow...