New Zealand Prime Minister continues interview during 5.8 magnitude earthquake


An earthquake that hit New Zealand on Monday physically shook Prime Minister Jacinda Adern during a live television interview.

The Prime Minister remained completely calm after telling viewers what was happening.

New Zealand sits on the Pacific Basin "Ring of Fire", where tectonic plates collide creating more than 15,000 earthquakes a year, but only 100–150 are strong enough to be felt.

Ms. Adern was speaking on a morning news program from Parliament in Wellington when the magnitude 5.8 earthquake struck just before 8:00 am

"We’re just having a bit of an earthquake here, Ryan, quite a decent shake," she said, as she interrupted the interview.

She remained smiling and appeared unphased by the earthquake.

When the shaking finally stopped, Ms. Adern continued the interview.

"I’m not under any hanging lights, and looks like I am in a structurally strong place," she said.

The tremor reportedly hit about 30 kilometres northwest of Levin, around an hour drive from the capital, at a depth of 37 kilometres, according to the country’s seismology agency.

The quake lasted for less than 30 seconds and was felt by tens of thousands around the country.

Emergency services in Wellington City have said there were no immediate reports of damage or injury.

Ms. Ardern’s response to the earthquake has added to the praise she has been receiving worldwide for her handling of the coronavirus pandemic.