The first I was aware of the earthquake was when I looked at the blog this morning and found that people had started writing in to check how we were. I put on the radio and was in time to hear our Prime Minister answering a question about the quake, so I knew it had been a bad one.
I recall being half asleep an hour or so after going to bed and hearing sound a bit like a heavy vehicle on the road that went on for a long time, thinking "earth quake", but then putting down a "light headed" sensation that I had to my feeling unwell. There was also a distant thumping sound that I could not understand.
When I went to buy milk at the local shop this morning, Lynda, the shop owner, was weary with lack of sleep and was surprised that I had not known about the earthquake, or the evacuation that followed at 3.30am due to the risk of tsunami in this coastal community. Somehow Laura and I had slept through the sirens that were supposed to have alerted us! Lynda said that the earthquake had gone on for about 3 minutes, and it was different from the usual ones. She had doubted for a while that it was an earthquake as it gave her the feeling that she was carsick or giddy, and she found it hard to understand what was going on.
Many people had been woken up at 3.30 am and told to move to high ground because of fears of a tsunami. Some people spent the rest of the night in the town hall or the school, others slept in their cars. Lynda and her husband Maurice had spent 2 hours huddled up in their car on some higher ground, and had finally come back to the village around 6am and opened their shop, which is near the top of a hill.
I thought nothing had been affected at home, but I discovered that the cuckoo clock had stopped at the time of the earthquake, and that the distant thumping sound that I had been aware of, but could not make sense of, was the sound of the clock's weights thumping the wall!
The quake has been devastating for some people, and we do feel for them. Affected parts of the country have suffered numerous after shocks, some of them serious. It will be some time before news gets digested and sorted, and we have a full overview of what has happened. It would appear that road and rail travel and even ferry sailings have been disrupted. Some smaller towns and communities are cut off.
I'm a bit tired today so will finish this now. The flowers with this post are photos I took in the garden. I know the news is sad and grim, but it is good to be reminded of beauty, and the fragile beauty of a flower says a lot about life and what is precious in it.