7 a.m. 23 July NZ time: People were asked not to go into the CBD yesterday and it was blocked off while surveyors and inspectors checked the area. Schools and the university were closed. There were no trains. Today most everything is almost back to normal.
About 35 buildings have been damaged, but not that badly, I don't think. The Mayor, Celia Wade-Brown, has told us that thanks to Wellington's strict building code re earthquakes, we were lucky to get away with not that much damage. Our code has always been even more strict than Christchurch and Auckland because we are on a faultline. For many years now, all new tall buildings have to have earthquake (movable) foundations.
There were a few dozen little quakes last night. I slept like a log, woke about 1.30 a.m.-ish, and found out later there was a 5 point-something earthquake around about the same time. Maybe it woke me up? - I'm just glad I didn't know. Oh, I only crouched under the table once yesterday. The aftershocks will go on for quite some time.
I am so sad for the people in China who have just had that massive earthquake,. A Chinese earthquake help team came and assisted us when New Zealand had the huge Christchurch earthquake.
In a way, it was hilarious yesterday in the shops. So many of us had never bothered getting our emergency earthquake kits made up. I went into Bunnings Hardware Store and it was like attending a first day sale at Kirkcaldies, or Harrods, or Selfridges, or Macy's,. Hundreds of Wellingtonians were grabbing torches, barbecues, camping stoves, candles, and portable toilets. In the supermarket, it was toilet rolls, water, paper towels, baby wipes, tinned food. My friend, J ,was jolly cross when she toddled in to Countdown to get her usual health food bars and found the shelf empty,.
It's odd to still see the normal programmes and commercials on television and radio. Last night was the final of "X Factor: New Zealand". Life goes on.