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Thursday, 17 November 2016 08:00

Maple Creek native fortunately unaffected by massive earthquake

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The images from the earthquake in New Zealand are startling. Roads literally chopped in half, landslides, buildings damaged, thousands of people stranded and a few lives lost are all part of the 7.8 Richter magnitude earthquake with aftershocks which took place near the small community of Kaikoura, on the east coast of the northern portion of the main island.

 Fortunately for Maple Creek native Jordanne Gold and her partner Kevin Munson, who are in New Zealand for work, they are completely safe in the tourist city of Queenstown. She feels extremely fortunate though.
“Kevin and I were in Queenstown so we are a bit a ways away from where the focus was. We ended up sleeping through the whole thing but at work someone said they could feel it,” explained Gold in an online interview. “Kevin’s family on the north island said they could feel it in Hamilton too so it could be felt literally all over the country.
“Luckily, it doesn’t change Kevin and my plans, but the road we took to get here (initially) was completely destroyed so I’m glad we got to Queenstown when we did. It’s pretty scary actually, people here have grown up with them, but they actually have multiple earthquakes a day, but usually they’re not so strong they do damage.”
The Kaikoura District has a population of about 3,500. The nearest city is Christchurch (population 390,000) which is 180 km south along the coast and is within the aftershock range. Flooding hasn’t helped matters either and the country is in a state of emergency.
“I don’t know anyone in Christchurch, but I do know New Zealand is extremely proactive about earthquakes and has an organization that works on the readiness of New Zealand,” Gold explained. “Earthquakes seem to be a part of life here so everyone I talked to in Queenstown was sad of course, but not surprised either. Someone at work said that someone actually did predict it and it had something to do with the super moon that happened that same night.”
It’s not the first time New Zealand has been hit by earthquakes in 2016. In February, the Kermadec Islands were hit with one which registered 6.6; on Valentine’s Day, Christchurch which is a few hours away from the epicentre of the Nov. 14 earthquake was hit with one (5.7) and on Sept. 2, East Cape had one measured at 7.1. The Nov. 14 earthquake wasn’t the largest in the country’s history as according to reports there was one registered at 8.2 in 1855.
Gold doesn’t seem fazed by it all, although it is a new experience for her. She doesn’t have any plans to check out the damage. What surprises her is that residents almost consider it part of life.
“It’s crazy to think that this could happen here at any moment, but on the flip side, the country is extremely prepared and the housing regulations are super strict,” she explained. “Yeah it was crazy (for Gold but), no one here seemed to be shocked at all. Work went on as normal, basically everything here was normal except we knew a large part of the country was dealing with them. Apparently, there were aftershocks as well so they had big earthquakes for a couple days along with the really big one that happened that night.
“The whole thing makes you really grateful Canada doesn’t have to deal with these things as much,” she added.

Read 1542 times Last modified on Thursday, 17 November 2016 09:29
Ryan Dahlman

Managing Editor