– Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand

On September the 4th I was woken by the growling and shaking of the earthquake. My husband was on night shift, so I was alone in the house. Without thinking I ran outside, onto the road. I stood there, shivering, not quite knowing what was happening, looking down the road, down our valley onto the lights of Lyttelton. Then I heard a terrifying rumbling noise coming from behind me.

The ground rolled under me, and as the shock wave traveled down the road it extinguished every street light: first in our road, then broadening out across Lyttelton, then, as it traveled under the water of the Harbour nothing happened for a second or two, but as it arrived in Diamond Harbour, the lights there were extinguished as well. There was no more man-made light around me, only the stars and moon cast a faint light onto the freshly fallen snow on Mount Herbert and Mount Bradley. For a moment it felt as if the world had come to an end. It was one of the most terrifying and yet strangely beautiful things I have ever seen. I will never forget this moment.

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