– Avonhead, Canterbury, New Zealand

I don’t understand how anyone had time to get out of bed ducking for cover in the September quake. By the time I had registered what was happening and woken up enough to think “Should I be doing anything?”, it was all over.

I sat in bed for a moment wondering if that was big or if I was just imagining it, and assumed at once that it was the Alpine Fault. Said a quick prayer for the people on the West Coast. Eventually I heard my flatmates getting up and so I joined them. One in particular was really upset about it but, for crying out loud, it was about 4 o’clock in the morning, and after we’d established that everyone was physically okay – including the flatmate who slept through it! – I went back to bed. The real shock came the next day when at around 11am we got power back and were able to turn on the television and see just how bad things really were. Before then, I had got a few isolated text messages from family outside the city, but had assumed that everything would be okay.

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