25 May 2020

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern remains calm despite earthquake during live TV appearance

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern kept her composure as an earthquake struck during a live TV interview.

“We’re just having a bit of an earthquake here,” Ardern told Ryan Bridge, a host for Newshub’s AM Show, live on air as she looked around the room.

The 39-year-old was being interviewed from The Beehive, the parliament building in Wellington when the 5.8 magnitude earthquake hit 30km northwest of Levin, a city close to the capital on the North Island.

Despite the camera visibly shaking during the 30-second quake, Ms Ardern maintained her, by now, customary cool, talking viewers through the drama.

“Quite a decent shake here if you see things moving behind me,” she said, before adding, "the Beehive moves a little more than most."

Just as it seemed she would have to abandon proceedings, the situation resolved itself.

"No, we're fine, I'm not under any hanging lights and I look like I'm in a structurally sound place."

GeoNet also reported 40 aftershocks of the quake, ranging between 1.7 and 4 magnitude.

The emergency services in Wellington reported no immediate serious impacts or reports of damage but trains were suspended in order for an assessment to take place.

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