My fear for family after fatal 7.5 NZ earthquake
MY little brother can now say he's lived through a magnitude 7.5 earthquake and a category three cyclone.
After being alerted by a friend about the news of the quake that claimed two lives in New Zealand just after midnight Sunday, I jumped up and sent him a text to check if they were okay.
At this point I only knew the quake had hit the country somewhere north of Christchurch but with it's severity I was obviously concerned for him and his girlfriend and friends in Wellington and other parts of the country.
He called me straight after he got the text.
"It was pretty scary," he kept saying.
On Monday the country is still being hit, with reports of more than 100 aftershocks so far.
I'm not going to lie - hearing those words from my little brother brought a little panic as I listened to the fear in his voice and tried to stay as calm as I could.
Being the first major earthquake he's experienced over there I was just so grateful to hear his girlfriend had spent the night at his apartment which is on the eleventh floor.
He told me she woke him after the initial shock and they moved to stand under the door frame (the safest place during an earthquake) for about a minute until it passed.
"It was scary, everything was shaking," he said.
He joked about getting the next flight back to Brisbane. I told him it would be ok and to stay safe.
They were lucky only a few bottles and other were smashed but are yet to return to their apartment after moving his his girlfriend's place during the night which is in an apartment in Wellington on a lower level.
When I woke on Monday morning I watched the devastation in New Zealand and found out Wellington had also been badly hit, with damage to buildings and roads.
My brother can now say he's lived through a deadly earthquake in New Zealand and a category three cyclone in North Queensland.