Bathroom break, luggage arranged and we were ready to set out for an afternoon of sightseeing. At the door waiting for S to gather his gloves, he stood up and said he felt shaky on his feet like the room was swaying. After a second, I told him that I felt the swaying feeling too. Then we heard creaking and S looked out the window before exclaiming 'OMG the room is shaking, this is an earthquake!'
After what we were later told was about 3 1/2 to 4 minutes, the movement stopped and everything was silent. I looked at S with tears in my eyes and told him I wanted to get downstairs. Obviously the lifts were shut down so we searched the maze of hallways for the stairs. When we found the stairs they were electro -locked and this was my undoing. I burst into tears and told S that we were going to die and that I didn't want to die.
By this stage, I was absolutely convinced we were going to die - I didn't know anything about earthquakes really, apart from the devastation in Christchurch recently, I didn't know if they got worse and came in waves, if that was the end of it. I think that was the scariest, waiting to see if another big one was going to happen. See apparently earthquakes only last about 20-30 secs but the big one we had went for almost 4 mins and got worse as it went on.
After 2 hours on the street, it started to rain so we had to go back into the hotel. The lobby bar and restaurant was open to guests and our lobby was filling up quicky with displaced workers who couldn't get home. We managed to get a table in the restaurant and it turned out there were a few other groups of Aussies staying so we stuck with them and had a drink, trying to calm down.