There was an earthquake in Adelaide last night – about 3.8 on the Richter scale. Everyone seems to be terribly excited about it, but really, it was just a tiddler. There was no jolt, no lurch, no long running rumbles or waves running through the ground. It was a mere shudder. On the other hand, houses here are not built for earthquakes, so I would be frightened by a bigger quake, like the 5.2 quake centred near Wellington in August last year.
I don’t like earthquakes – who does? – but I feel confident about what to do if a strong one hits. It’s knowledge that was drilled into us at school. And when we lived in Wellington, we were prepared for earthquakes, with a three day emergency food and water supply, and a plan about who would collect the children and where we would meet. However routine Australian hazards frighten me. I like to think that I would be sensible should I come across a snake, but I really have no idea what to do about them, and I don’t know what to do about bushfires. Yet another cultural gap across the Tasman.