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New Zealand Prime Minister keeps going as earthquake disrupts live event

WELLINGTON

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern paused quickly as an earthquake rattled the capital Wellington on Friday (Oct 22) while she used to be addressing the country in a coronavirus briefing, however then continued speaking.

Wellington and close by areas have been shaken by a 5.9 magnitude earthquake with the epicentre 35km south-west of Taumarunui in central North Island, according to Geonet, the government’s seismic monitor.

While the shaking used to be felt widely, there have been no reviews of damages or injuries. The United States Geological Survey put the magnitude at 5.6.

Ms Ardern briefly grabbed her podium when the shaking began, smiled, and told a reporter asking a question: “Sorry, a slight distraction…would you mind repeating that question?”

She told newshounds at the end of the event that Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson, who used to be additionally on the stage, was now not entirely convinced it used to be an earthquake and wondered if it was just strong wind blowing.

New Zealand often experiences weak to medium intensity earthquakes as it lies on the seismically energetic “Ring of Fire”, a 40,000km arc of volcanoes and ocean trenches girdling an awful lot of the Pacific Ocean.

The city of Christchurch is still recovering from a 6.3 magnitude quake in 2011 that killed 185 people.

In 2016, a 7.8 magnitude tremor hit the South Island city of Kaikoura, killing two and causing billions of dollars worth of damage, including in the capital Wellington, which is on North Island.

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