Like many Kiwis, I was awoken at 2.27am to find my house, and therefore my bed, swaying side to side after the first of three major earthquakes hit off the coast of the North Island.
Living in a country so closely caressed by tectonic plates, it is no longer an unfamiliar feeling.
However, this was long and strong enough that I stumbled to stand in the doorway just to be safe. After a minute or so it died down and I went back to dreamland.
Little did I know that in a few hours' time I would be in a plane over Ōhope and Whakatāne, watching residents literally run for the hills.
Being hit with earthquake and tsunami warnings while already in the grips of a global pandemic has very apocalyptic vibes.
It is a valuable reminder that mother nature is a swift and relentless beast, we are always at the mercy of her whims.
When I picture such events, or when they are depicted in movies, it is often a scene of chaos. The alert sounds and humans start screaming, running and fighting each other in a fit of survival instinct.
Pleasingly, from our view in the sky, that did not appear to be the case in this situation.
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Sure, there was a fair amount of traffic as people packed their bags and headed for safer pastures, but it was all quite orderly. Cars lined the sides of the roads up the hills between Whakatāne and Ōhope and people could be seen gathered at the top, some appeared to be kicking balls around, amusing themselves.
Many who were interviewed about the situation, in their uniquely Kiwi way, were not too fussed about the commotion, most saying they were happy to wait on higher ground until told to do otherwise.
While in the end, the events following the morning's earthquakes ended up being more of a tsunami practice run than anything for New Zealand, I imagine it provided valuable lessons and learning opportunities for officials.
It will only strengthen calls for tsunami alert sirens to be installed in Tauranga, which has been the subject of debate since 2005.
In 2019, the Tauranga City Council gave the go-ahead for up to 12 tsunami sirens to be installed between Pāpāmoa East and Ōmanu over the next two years. They are now working to have them installed by mid-2023, six months later than planned because of impacts from Covid-19.
I'm sure today's events will be closely analysed to determine what effect those sirens would've had.
In my view, they need to be fast-tracked.