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Barry Soper: Post-earthquake chaos in Wellington apartment block

The aftermath of this morning's earthquake has left the home of Newstalk ZB political editor Barry Soper trashed.

His 15th floor apartment in Wellington's tallest building, on Taranaki St in the CBD is chaos after the 7.5-magnitude quake struck near Hanmer Springs just after midnight.

While Soper was doing a Skype with Tristram Clayton of NZ Herald Focus, describing the devastation, there was a large aftershock in Wellington, of around 5.7 magnitude. The quake occurred 15km east of Seddon.

Soper arrived home from covering the US election this morning, to find his home looking as if it had been through a blender.

Apartment at the top of a Wellington tower block trashed by this morning's earthquake. Photo / Barry Soper Twitter
Apartment at the top of a Wellington tower block trashed by this morning's earthquake. Photo / Barry Soper Twitter

"It's just general devastation. You can't walk into the apartment," Soper said.

"All the paintings have been thrown off the wall, a Chinese cabinet which is as tall as I am has been thrown across the room, all the crockery's broken, my little wine cellar, a very humble one, has collapsed, the bookshelf has been thrown across the room.

"There's not one thing that hasn't been affected. It's a massive clean-up job," Soper said.

He said his apartment block was designed to withstand an 8.5-magnitude earthquake.

"It literally waves around."

Although he wasn't inside at the time he'd spoken to some who were and said they'd never felt anything like it.

"They were standing in doorways, they didn't know what was going to come next."

- NZ Herald

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