Earthquake interrupts New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern’s TV interview

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was talking about the country’s ongoing releasing of coronavirus limitations when a magnitude 5.8 earthquake occurred near the capital Wellington today morning. No injuries or harm has been reported. 

During the interview, the camera observably shook while a still-smiling Ardern informed the Newshub AM Show host Ryan Bridge that “we’re just having a bit of an earthquake here, quite a — quite a decent shake here.”

She further added, “If you see things moving behind me… the Beehive moves a little more than most,” with reference to the executive division of the New Zealand Parliament. Upon questioned if she was feeling “safe and well to continue the interview,” Ardern replied saying “(I’m) fine, I’m not under any hanging lights, I look like I’m in a structurally sound place.”

PM Ardern’s calm and composed reaction speedily went viral on Twitter and on other social media applications.

Similar to a majority of  New Zealanders, Ardern too is habitual to earthquakes. New Zealand is situated on the so-called “Ring of Fire,” a tectonically-active 25,000-mile (40,000-kilometer) arc which stretched on a substantial part of the Pacific. In accordance with GeoNet, which monitors the geological movements in the country, New Zealand encounters about 20,000 earthquakes per year, or within 50 and 80 each day, although most of these earthquakes are too slight to be sensed by humans.

GeoNet reported that the recently felt earthquake was the most powerful one so far in 2020, with the highest magnitude of 5.4 which had struck in a similar place in January. They even mentioned that the quake was succeeded by around 45 aftershocks varying in size from magnitude-1.7 to 4.4.

Finance Minister Grant Roberston stated that there was a “big long rumble” following up to the quake. He even tweeted, “Hope all ok up the line in the Levin area,” “Not what we need right now.”

Ardern wasn’t the only Kiwi politician to have a call disturbed by the quale. Fleur Fitzsimmons, Labour councilor for Southern Paekawakawa, mentioned that she was “on the phone to the Mayor talking about earthquake strengthening the Central Library when that earthquake hit!”


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