Almost two weeks after the initial 7.8 earthquake, and emotional cracks have split open among people dealing with the aftermath.
GeoNet director Dr Ken Gledhill shared a blog post on his website that revealed what he does to de-stress. He said his top three recommendations are understanding the science, being prepared and focusing on relationships.
Gledhill said the changes in the land are exciting but are offset with the grief he feels for those affected by the quake. Earthquakes can be scary and have caused tragedy and anxiety wherever they have struck. But earthquakes are also how New Zealand was created.
"We can't stop the earth from shaking; more earthquakes will come. If not now, someday. New Zealand's beautiful mountains were created by earthquakes and uplift."
Gledhill loves getting into the nitty gritty data and nutting out measurements to fully understand what is happening above and below the Earth's crust. He shared on the GeoNet website how the astounding earthquake have moved along at least five separate faults spanning around 150km with land changes of up to 11m horizontal and 5m vertical. The tsunami was recorded up to 4m in height at Little Pigeon Bay.
"Knowing as much as I can about the phenomena comforts me. I try to learn as much as I can.
"Since the earthquake occurred we have recorded more than 5500 aftershocks. And these numbers are only a few of the large number of measurements of this earthquake."
The popularity of the GeoNet website proved that other people also sought to understand more about the quake, potentially for their own comfort. The site has had 1,300,525 unique visitors and 169,028,688 earthquake notifications by their app.
The more prepared you are the more comfortable you will feel, Gledhill said. He has capacity to store 10,000 litres of water. For ideas on how to do this Gledhill recommends touching base with Civil Defence and using their suggestions.
"We can't stop nature from doing its thing and it may not give us notice about what's going to happen next. BUT we can control how ready we are to respond to nature and bounce back after the event."
Focus on your relationships
Use the support you get from your nearest and dearest to keep your perspective. Gledhill is grateful for the comfort he's received from his wife and three daughters since the disaster struck.
He recalled the first time he came home since the earthquake and his cat Poppy greeted him at the door with loud meows.
"Poppy put her furry face in my shoes for a big whiff (I don't know why she'd find that comforting) and then demanded cuddles for five minutes. Her small, purring presence helped remind me what is important in life: it's my relationships."