New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern Keeps Her Cool As Earthquake Hits Mid-Interview
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern kept her cool even as an earthquake struck in the middle of a live television interview on Monday morning.
“We’re just having a bit of an earthquake here Ryan, quite a decent shake here,” she told Newshub host Ryan Bridge.
She resumed the interview after assuring the host she was safe.
“I’m not under any hanging lights. I look like I am in a structurally sound place,” she said from the New Zealand Parliament’s “Beehive” building in Wellington, the country’s capital.
The 5.8 magnitude quake lasted for more than 15 seconds and struck roughly 18 miles northwest of Levin, a town located around an 80-minute drive from the capital. Tens of thousands of people reported feeling the quake across the country’s North and South Islands, according to New Zealand geological hazard monitoring network GeoNet.
Authorities said no injuries or damage had been reported and a tsunami threat was ruled out.
New Zealand lies on a zone of intense seismic activity known as the Ring of Fire, and has faced devastating earthquakes in the past.
“Not what we need right now,” New Zealand Finance Minister Grand Robertson tweeted.
Ardern has won praise around the world for how she’s handled her country’s response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Last month, she declared that the virus had been “currently eliminated” from New Zealand but urged people to remain vigilant as the nation slowly reopens.
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