Regional | Earthquake

Wellington High-rise resident wants out of quake-zone

A counselling service is preparing themselves to deal with anyone suffering in the aftermath of the recent earthquake. The emotional impacts of the recent and 2011 earthquake have taken a toll on one woman who lives in a Wellington high-rise apartment who wants out of the quake zone.

Kimberly King recalls her traumatic experience when the quake hit.

“At the time it was, it felt like an out of body experience you could say like, you kind of you know you're in it, but you don't really feel like you’re in it.  Being up high did make it ten times more frightening. I mean you have images of what happened to the buildings in Christchurch how it pancaked and you have that kind of nightmares.”

1500 aftershocks have been recorded since the initial quake struck after midnight early Monday morning.

“When we're back in the building and we had a pretty big aftershock, it was about 2 o'clock the next day. Yeah I kind of panicked then, I just started looking at flights to Auckland. I just wanted to get out.  I was kind of over it, my nerves had kind of reached the end of their limits.”

Skylight Trust CEO Heather Henare told Te Kāea, “People go through a range of emotions, and one of those emotions is to get out, to flee the area, to walk away.”

King transferred to Wellington from Hamilton two years ago, as part of her job, which has helped her career.

“It's still an option on the table whether or not I move away from Wellington, I will think about that, but then the other option is maybe it wouldn't feel so bad if I was in one of the suburbs in a house, instead of in an apartment,” says King.

“We've got information specifically designed for people after an earthquake, but also for people having to cope with aftershocks, and also information on how to support children and young people through earthquakes,” says Henare.

Skylight Trust says they expect to see a spike in people wanting help to cope over the next few weeks to six months, as people realise they or their children have been affected by the earthquake.