Wellington: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was not taken aback by an earthquake that hit the capital Wellington on Monday while she was conducting a live TV interview, and calmly continued the program.
Ardern, who became Prime Minister in 2017, is extremely popular in New Zealand for managing several crises – a mass shooting in Christchurch last year, a volcanic eruption in December and the recent coronavirus pandemic.
Wellington and surrounding areas were shaken by a 5.8 magnitude earthquake with the epicenter 30 km (20 miles) northwest of Levin, a town near the capital, and 37 km deep , according to Geonet.
Ardern was speaking at the time of a live television interview from the Parliament building, called the hive.
“We just have a little earthquake here, Ryan …” she said to the host of the Ryan Bridge show as she, the camera and other things around her trembled.
“A decent shake here … if you see things moving behind me. The hive is moving a bit more than most, ”she said.
Ardern assured the host that she was safe and maintenance resumed.
Video quickly went viral on social media.
There was no damage or injuries, Ardern confirmed at a press conference later, but the tremors that lasted more than 30 seconds caused panic in Wellington with several people in the offices and homes putting under their tables to cover themselves.
New Zealand sits on the seismically active Ring of Fire, a 40,000 km arc of volcanoes and ocean trenches that surround much of the Pacific Ocean.
The city of Christchurch is still recovering from a 6.3-magnitude earthquake in 2011 that killed 185 people.
In 2016, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit the southern island city of Kaikoura, killing two people and causing billions of dollars in damage, including in the capital Wellington, located on the island of North.
(With the exception of the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)