New Zealand's Arden carries on with live TV interview during quake

Carla Harmon
May 25, 2020

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was undaunted by an quake that struck the capital Wellington on Monday while she was doing a live TV interview, and calmly continued with the programme.

The quake struck just off the coast before 8:00 am local time (2000 Sunday GMT) at a depth of about 52 kilometres (32 miles) near Levin, about 90 kilometres north of Wellington, the US Geological Survey said.

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks during an interview in Wellington, New Zealand, December 11, 2019.

"Quite a decent shake here...if you see things moving behind here".

The tremors started as Ardern was on TV from the parliament building, called the beehive. "The Beehive moves a little more than most", she said.

Asked if she was okay to continue the interview, Ardern confirmed she felt safe to carry on.

Over 32,000 people reported feeling the quake.

"We are fine, I'm not under any hanging lights and I look like I am in a structurally strong place", she added.

Emergency officials said there were no immediate reports of damage.

Speaking from the podium just steps from where she was when the quake hit, Ardern said there wasn't a lot to "drop, cover and hold under".

Train services in Wellington were suspended, as engineers inspected tracks for damage. Finance Minister Grant Robertson tweeted "Not what we need right now".

New Zealand lies on the Pacific Basin "Ring of Fire", where tectonic plates collide generating more than 15,000 earthquakes a year, although only 100-150 are strong enough to be felt.

Other reports by iNewsToday