I woke up very suddenly yesterday morning at 4.35. The house was shaking and rattling enough that I got up out of bed to stand under a doorway, but nothing fell over or was damaged.
Usually when we have earthquakes in Dunedin the epicentres are over on the other side of the island where the big fault line runs under the Southern Alps, or out to sea somewhere. Imagine my surprise, when my radio went on a 6.30, to find that this one was close to Christchurch (400km away), was very shallow, and had done an awful lot of damage.
Luckily no-one has been killed, and there are only a couple of serious injuries. I hate to think what the toll would have been if the earthquake had happened during daytime on a weekday. As it is, they had no electricity yesterday, people are doing without running water at least until tomorrow, and it will be days, if not weeks, until the sewerage systems are fixed.
I keep bottles of water in my "beer fridge" for emergencies (and for my soda stream), and I have gas burners, candles and a stock of tinned, bottled, and dry foods, but I rely far too much on mains electricity. I have no battery radio, and I had never even considered what I'd do in the event of a failure of the sewerage system. In Christchurch, people are digging "long-drops" in their back yards.
I'm off to get a chemical toilet and a battery radio ASAP! We are overdue a "big one", and when it comes (hopefully not in my lifetime) it will be far worse than what Christchurch suffered yesterday.