North Shore native safe in New ZealandKnife River native Joe Allert and his wife and son are hunkered down in their Christchurch, New Zealand, home after surviving the city’s second major earthquake in six months.
By: Forum Newspapers, Lake County News Chronicle
Knife River native Joe Allert and his wife and son are hunkered down in their Christchurch, New Zealand, home after surviving the city’s second major earthquake in six months.
“Everything’s kind of on hold,” Allert said. It was late Tuesday afternoon here and just after noon on Wednesday in Christchurch, less than 24 hours after a deadly 6.3-magnitude quake devastated the city’s central district.
“You can’t hear anything outside,” he said. “It’s just completely quiet. It’s really kind of an eerie feeling. Everyone’s staying home today for the most part.”
The quake was smaller than the 7.1-magnitude quake that struck Christ-church Sept. 5. But that overnight earthquake produced no fatalities. The death toll from this one was 75 as Allert spoke, and he said it appeared that was just the beginning. “I think they’re keeping it really conservative right now,” he said. “It’s going to be much more.”
Allert, 29, is the son of Jim and Debbie Allert of Knife River and a 1999 Two Harbors High School graduate. He and his wife, Roxy, 27, and their son, North, 2, were uninjured in the quake and their property was undamaged. They live in the city about three or four miles from the central business district devastated by the quake.
The area has experienced thousands of aftershocks since the September quake hit and, at first, Tuesday’s earthquake felt like nothing more than another one, Allert said. “It felt big, but it didn’t feel apocalyptic.” He teaches at a primary school.
“Last time the earthquake came and no one got injured and things got destroyed – it was like an earthquake at Universal Studios,” Allert said. “This was much different.”