30 Oct 2018

Taumarunui quake: 'A lovely rocking and rolling'

5:48 pm on 30 October 2018

A Taumarunui local says the magnitude 6.2 earthquake that struck in the area this afternoon made the second story of his home sway from side to side.

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Photo: 123RF

The earthquake, which struck at 3.13pm, hit 25 km south-west of Taumarunui, at a depth of 207km.

Local Adrian Doyle said that while the shaking wasn't very strong - it lasted a long time.

"I'm on the second story of my house and it was definitely swaying from side-to-side," he said.

"I hopped under the desk and then realised that wasn't the most prudent placed to be because it's not a very strong desk, so hopped in the door frame and waited it out."

Mr Doyle said he did not expect there will much damage in the center town.

Paul Restall from Raurimu - a small town half an hour south of Taumarunui - said the quake was an unusual experience.

"It almost felt like sitting in a car with loose suspension while some of your mates swing on the doors - just a lovely rocking and rolling.

"We've been through quite a few earthquakes in the last 60 years in New Zealand and some of them really scare you but this one was quite a sweetie really," Mr Restall said.

Lyn Neeson, a farmer south west of Taumarunui, said she felt the quake for about two minutes.

She said the quake rumbled but didn't cause any shaking.

"I watched the clock 'cause I thought this was going on for a while and I was trying to remember was it one minute or two minutes before you were supposed to get gone and so it went on for nearly two minutes.

"It didn't get any worse so that is why I didn't move but it was just rumbling, rumbling.

"I was looking around and there wasn't much movement. I have a glass table and the flowers on it were shaking.

"I looked over and there was a couple of cards on a desk and they were just moving but nothing fell off."

Ms Neeson said her power and the internet went off.

"The power came back on pretty shortly afterwards, but I am still struggling to get my internet back on because it's satellite and you have to reset it."

Kevin Barrow, bar manager at the Whangamomona Hotel, about 80-kilometres south-east of Taumarunui, described the quake as a gentle shake for about a minute.

He said the quake was a gentle rocking.

"A few pictures on the wall just rattled a bit but no considering how close we were to it and the fact it was felt down as far south as Wellington amazing that it was so mild here, we are all good."

He said he has not felt any aftershocks.

"It really was just a gentle sort of rocking and it was very gentle, in fact you couldn't really feel it, it was only just pictures on the wall you could just see moving very slightly, but it wasn't really noticeable."

Paul Restall from Raurimu - a small town half an hour south of Taumarunui - said the consistent long shaking was unlike anything he had felt before.

"It wasn't like a normal earthquake, it was very consistent. There wasn't any big rise and then slow tapering off aftershock or anything - it was just a consistent rolling, certainly a new one for me.

"There was no movement in the forest outside. Inside, the lampshades and bits and pieces were just wiggling. It really wasn't a large shock - but it was enough to make our dog bark."

He said it went for about 30 seconds.

"That was the unusual thing. We just sat and watched and talked and thought 'hmm it's still going', it was really like a wave through the countryside.

"Our house is a Lockwood house so there were a few creaks and groans as the house moved with it, but I was quite surprised to hear it was centred quite close to us. It was quite gentle."