Monday July 22, 2013
Wellington was hit by a large earthquake on Friday morning, just after 9am. I had just arrived at work and began my morning routine when the jolt hit. We looked at each other nervously, the quake increasing in intensity but tapered off soon after; we were ready to bolt under our desks should the severity have intensified. Geonet placed the magnitude at 5.7. There were some minor aftershocks throughout the day but the remainder of Friday and all of Saturday was pretty docile.
Sunday morning after 7.15am, the city shook again from another severe 5.8 magnitude earthquake, followed by at least three major aftershocks registering more than 4.0 within the next three hours. The final major strike of the weekend though came just after 5pm when a massive 6.5 earthquake struck the city. Reports of fallen bookshelves and broken crockery filled my Facebook news feed. Pictures and videos from around the CBD started popping up, showing shards of glass scattered across the road, burst waterpipes spewing water everywhere, people standing outside their apartment buildings wondering if we were going to suffer the same fate as Christchurch. I was having dinner with Mitchell, Amy, Jono and Charlotte and throughout the evening we were increasingly becoming edgier after feeling some aftershocks.
The 6.5 was really grim. I was mortified because I was in the shower at the time and I have long feared the day that an earthquake would hit while I was bathing. There was nothing to hold onto, all I could do was crouch down and hold on to the side of the bathtub. The quake almost knocked me off balance, but subsided soon after. I'm okay; uninjured but nervous. No damage to my flat, but the Mercure Hotel just down the road has sunk 5cm into the ground, and that area has been cordoned off.
We've been advised to stay out of the CBD until at least noon tomorrow so that engineers can inspect the buildings for damage. Seismologists have said that "in the coming week there could be up to nine magnitude 5.0 or greater events, with an approximately 30% probability (a 1 in 3 chance) of a magnitude 6.0 or greater. The most likely period for this to occur is the next 24 hours, when the probability is approximately 20% (a 1 in 5 chance).". This series of earthquakes has been the most severe I've ever felt since moving to Wellington five and a half years ago. While I'm thankful that we still have our basic utilities and have escaped relatively unscathed this round, I can't help but feel uncertain for the coming months.
Monday July 15, 2013
It's been a tough few weeks at work, but the Robot Unicorn Attack 2 Android version is finally out on the Google Play store, and had over 10,000 downloads in the first 24 hours of release. We're continually working on updates and ever-changing requirements means a shift in focus and priorities for particular features, but hey, that's game development for you. Two of the team are away on holiday and one resigned to travel the country, so there's two programmers and one artist holding the fort. Stay tuned for more unicorn fabulousness in the future.
Andrew and Shuren are down in Wellington for a research project during one of the worst weeks ever, weather-wise. I took them around to the regular touristy places like Te Papa, the Weta Cave, Mt Victoria Lookout and the Brooklyn Wind Turbine - it occurred to me that there aren't a lot of things for people to do in Wellington when the weather is so bad. Of course, food was an important item and we were at Chocolate Frog on Saturday afternoon after badminton, and Restaurant 88 for dinner - and needless to say, we went to Strawberry Fare, twice!
After church on Sunday, we went cronut hunting at Moore Wilsons and brunching at Cafe L'affare. With reports of snow at 300m, we decided to go for a drive to the Rimutaka's to see what we could find. Driving conditions weren't as treacherous as I thought they would be; it wasn't too windy but the rain was heavy. As we reached the site of the old cafe, the wind picked up and deliver some sleet and snow flurries that danced around the car. With temperatures rapidly dropping, we headed home and played some Super Smash Bros Melee before dinner at Cosa Nostra and dessert at Strawberry Fare.
Unfortunately with all this adventuring, I've come down with a mild cold and had to stay at home today. Metservice reported 5.3C this morning, feeling like -1C with the windchill factor. My room is quite toasty thanks to the heater, but at some stage I will have to venture out into the kitchen and make dinner :(