It seems not even an earthquake can rattle New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern after her “ice cool” reaction to a 5.8 magnitude tremor was captured on live television.
Ms Ardern was mid-conversation with Channel Three’s Newshub host Ryan Bridge on Monday morning when the screen began to shake.
"We're just having a bit of an earthquake here," she nonchalantly declared.
Ms Ardern was being interviewed in the executive government building in Wellington known as "the Beehive" for its distinctive shape when it hit.
“Quite a decent shake here. If you see things moving behind me," she said.
The camera shot shakes as Ms Ardern looks around to judge her safety, smiling throughout.
"The Beehive moves a little more than most."
Mr Bridge asks if she is safe to proceed, yet she insists there is nothing to worry about.
"It's just stopped. No, we're fine. I'm not under any hanging lights, I look like I'm in a structurally sound place."
The strong earthquake was centred 30km north west of Levin, a town around an hour's drive north of the New Zealand capital.
It was felt most sharply around the South Taranaki Bight, and the closest major town, Wellington, some 100 kilometres south.
Dozens took to social media shortly after in awe of Ms Ardern’s calm and collective response.
“Robust foundations and ice cool composure from our Queen,” one person wrote on Twitter.
“Why am I not surprised that Jacinda Ardern casually takes an earthquake interrupting her interview in her stride
Robust foundations and ice cool composure from our Queen https://t.co/1yYBiOYTBV— Adam Burns (@AJKBurns) May 24, 2020
Tens of thousands feel Wellington earthquake
Tens of thousands of Kiwis reported feeling weak rattling as far north as Auckland and as far south as Dunedin.
In the capital, it brought sustained shaking for around 15 seconds as Kiwis prepared for their day at 7.53am (NZST).
The earthquake was 37km deep according to seismic monitoring agency GMS Science.
New Zealand lies on the seismically active "Ring of Fire", a 40,000km arc of volcanoes and ocean trenches girdling much of the Pacific Ocean.
The National Emergency Management Agency quickly ruled out the threat of tsunami.
Wellington councillor Fleur Fitzsimons claimed a strange coincidence during the rumble.
"Eek, on the phone to the Mayor talking about earthquake strengthening the Central Library when that earthquake hit! #eqnz #Wellington," she wrote on Twitter.
Another Twitter user, Jords, compared the quake with coronavirus.
"I believe after earthquake and plague, the next one is frogs #EQNZ," he wrote.
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