Gotta say it took the Member for Eketahuna North a minute or two to appreciate what was happening when the 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck near his home town.
He happened to be consulting constituents in the Commercial Hotel, a splendid watering hole.
More specifically, he was wandering back from the bog to the bar, and by then had sunk more than a few shots of his favourite Scotch, and so was not 100% steady on his feet.
Accordingly he was inclined – momentarily – to attribute the rocking motion in the pub to his condition.
But the power went out, too, and – as he was to later find – water mains burst.
As TV One reported last night:
The quake cut power to about 5600 Powerco customers in Tararua, Manawatu and Taranaki.
Acting Network Operations Manager Dean Stevenson said early reports from the field indicated the damage was relatively minor and Powerco expected to restore supply to the majority of affected customers tonight.
Around 1600 properties remained without power at 7pm.
“We have already restored supply to the majority of customers in Tararua and Manawatu and expect to make steady progress this evening,” Mr Stevenson said.”
Without the power cut, Alf might simply have teetered home.
But the power failure alerted him to the rocky realities of what had happened, and he cut short his meeting in the bar to see what help he could offer the good citizens of his town.
He had a chat, among others with the local shop-keeper who told the world:
Tan May Patel of the Eketahuna Community Store told ONE News goods dislodged from the shelves.
He said it was “super scary” and he and customers ran out onto the road because they thought shelves might come down.
He described the quake as violent shaking, unnerving and the worst he has ever felt. The lights went out for 10 minutes plus, he said.
For those who have emailed, phoned or whatever to inquire, the news is that the Grumbles are safe and well.