New Zealand's Ardern keeps going as earthquake rattles live event - Reuters News Agency

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New Zealand’s Ardern keeps going as earthquake rattles live event

New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, paused briefly as an earthquake rattled the capital Wellington on Friday (October 22) while she was addressing the nation in a coronavirus briefing, but then continued speaking.

Wellington and nearby areas were shaken by a 5.9 magnitude earthquake with the epicentre 35 km (21.75 miles) south-west of Taumarunui in central North Island, according to Geonet. While the shaking was felt widely there were no reports of damages or injuries. The U.S. Geological Survey put the magnitude at 5.6.

Ardern briefly grabbed her podium when the shaking began, smiled, and told a reporter asking a question: “Sorry, a slight distraction … would you mind repeating that question?”

She told reporters at the end of the event that Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson, who was also on the stage, was not entirely convinced it was an earthquake and wondered if it was just strong wind blowing.

New Zealand often experiences weak to medium intensity earthquakes as it lies on the seismically active “Ring of Fire”, a 40,000-km (24,855-mile) arc of volcanoes and ocean trenches girdling much of the Pacific Ocean.

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