45 minutes ago we experienced a mild earthquake (magnitude 6.2). It was enough to disturb the dog and cause ornaments to rattle and hung picture frames to bang against the wall, but this time only a single item fell over – a top heavy vase holding orchids. It’s funny how different people react. I find them exciting, whereas the wife finds them disturbing.
This one lasted around 45 seconds and came in two distinct waves. The first was a series of vigorous shakes, the second was more of a rolling motion.
Earthquakes are quite common here (around 14,000 each year), although only some 300 are noticeable. NZ lies on the collision zone between the Indo-Australian and Pacific tectonic plates. Visitors to the country often comment on the number of wooden buildings found here. The reason is simple. Wooden framed buildings suffer less damage than masonry and brick structures and are less likely to cause death or serious injury in an earthquake.