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Moment Jacinda Ardern Stays Calm As New Zealand Earthquake Strikes During Press Conference

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Moment Jacinda Ardern Stays Calm As New Zealand Earthquake Strikes During Press Conference

Jacinda Ardern was interrupted by an earthquake as she addressed New Zealand during a press conference on Thursday.

The prime minister remained composed as the rumbling stopped her in her stacks mid-way through a discussion about the country's new Covid 'traffic light' system, as she spoke from parliament, in Wellington.

Watch a clip below:

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The earthquake occurred just ahead of 11am, and had a magnitude of 5.9.

A 5.9 magnitude earthquake is in the second lowest risk factor, with the first indicating that the earthquake is often felt but rarely causes damage.

Sitting in the top of tier two, an earthquake of this scale has the potential to cause slight damage to buildings and other structures, and would certainly be felt across the country.

And while there are luckily no initial reports of injuries or damage in this case, the earthquake, which struck just 30km southwest of Taumarunui, will have shaken thousands of individuals across both North Island and South Island.

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Jacinda Ardern held onto her podium as the earthquake hit (Credit: Sky News)
Jacinda Ardern held onto her podium as the earthquake hit (Credit: Sky News)

Remaining calm and collected, the prime minister waited out the tremors before turning back to a reporter with whom she had been speaking, and saying: “Ah, sorry, a slight distraction – would you mind repeating that question?”

The earthquake struck at a depth of 223km, which explains why it didn't leave much surface level destruction.

Earthquakes aren't uncommon in New Zealand, and Wellington in particular attracts many all year round.

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In the past year alone, Geonet has recorded over 1,350 earthquakes with a higher magnitude than four.

Jacinda Ardern apologised for the 'slight distraction' (Credit: Sky News)
Jacinda Ardern apologised for the 'slight distraction' (Credit: Sky News)

Jacinda and her team proved they were certainly used to the rumbling, with the PM even telling crowds at the end of the conference that she wasn't sure if it was in fact an earthquake that had disrupted her.

“I have to say, [finance] minister [Grant] Robertson just said to me that he wanted to check whether or not it was wind – he wasn’t entirely convinced it was an earthquake," she said.

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"I would expect such a statement from the MP for Wellington Central.”

Featured Image Credit: Sky News

Topics: News, Politics

Joanna Freedman
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