NEW Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared unflustered when an earthquake rattled a studio during a live television interview this morning.
Jacinda Ardern, who became prime minister in 2017, is hugely popular in New Zealand for her handling of several crises — a mass shooting in Christchurch last year, a deadly volcanic eruption in December and the recent coronavirus pandemic.
Wellington and nearby areas were shaken by a 5.8 magnitude earthquake with the epicentre 20 miles northwest of Levin, a city close to the capital, and at a depth of 22miles, according to Geonet.
Ardern was speaking on a live TV interview at the time from the parliament building, called the Beehive.
“Quite a decent shake here…if you see things moving behind me. The Beehive moves a little more than most.”
Ardern assured the host that she was safe and the interview resumed.
The video was soon viral on social media.
There were no damages and no injuries, Ardern confirmed at a news conference later, but the shaking that lasted for more than 30 seconds caused panic in Wellington with several people in offices and homes getting under their tables for cover.
New Zealand lies on the seismically active “Ring of Fire”, a 25,000 mile arc of volcanoes and ocean trenches girdling much of the Pacific Ocean.
The city of Christchurch is still recovering from a 6.3 magnitude quake in 2011 that killed 185 people.
In 2016, a 7.8 magnitude tremor hit the South Island town of Kaikoura, killing two and causing billions of dollars worth of damage, including in the capital Wellington, which is on North Island.