Salam my muslim peeps,
On Monday 14th November around 12 a.m., we arrived at Hanmer Springs on a camper side named Kairaki Beach Holiday Park, from a long drive from Waikawa, the Parkland Marina Holiday Park where we spent night after harbor at Picton. We stopped nearby Kaikoura at Half Moon Bay before Kairaki having vegetable Tom Yam by the beach, taking pictures of seals by the sea rocks and having sunbath in these cold weather. Unfortunately, we have to eat inside the caravan because the seagulls that flying around the beach are quite aggressive and keep on flying close above our head if they saw foods in our hands.
After spending time beside the beach, we drove slowly enjoying the view of the sea and mountains. It was a very glorious view, MasyaAllah. My parents were thinking of spending a night here, but I remember well that I urged my parents to go straight to Kairaki as the camping site here for caravan facilities are mostly not complete. For example, there’s either no shower or dump side nearby that’s easy for me and my brother-in-law to clear our waste. So my father agreed even though my parents really wanted to spend a night there as the camping site here are all beside the beach and serve a very nice view, but I was too worried thinking about our schedule if we spend more time at Kaikoura.
So here’s where the terrifying moment happened, at around 11:30 am we arrived at the Kairaki Holiday Park, Hanmer Springs. My father and I was busy playing with my niece who is 8 months old, while my mother was inside the caravan’s toilet since she was too tired to walk over to camp site’s toilet. Suddenly, our caravan was shaking. My dad and I were calling out to my mom and asking what were she doing because we were thinking maybe she fell down, but the shaking went so violent that my brother-in-law went outside because we thought some drunk people were trying to prank us, but as soon as my brother-in-law went outside he said the ground is moving and all our neighbours ran outside. From there, we learnt that it is an earthquake. My mom asked my dad to recite the Azan and I took my niece outside as my sister was scared of her daughter’s safety thinking that the caravan could fall on it’s side. The miracle happened when soon as my dad recite the Azan, the earthquake stopped.
Since our camping site are also consisting of local residence, one of the local in front of us was trying to calm us down by saying that we are in land with nothing around us so we are in a safe place. So my niece, my younger sister, my brother-in-law and I just waited outside for a while to make sure it is really safe. After we all had calmed down a little bit, I went straight to sleep, but about less than a half an hour later, my oldest sister told me that she felt a second earthquake but it was a small shake compared to the first so she decided not to wake all of us but the third one was strong as the first, my sister panicked and wake her husband to go outside. Her husband rushed outside and saw all the neigbours were already there.
A minute after we heard the siren, we were told that maybe it came from the fire breach or siren from a fire truck. From there, some of the caravan decided to leave the place. One of the local resident went to my brother-in-law and explain that it is still safe to stay but if we decide to leave like some of them already had, we can. My sister woke me up and asked me to come down as I slept with my younger sister in top of bunk bed in the caravan, I had hard time to dressing up properly and panicked so I slide down where my left feet had scratch the edge of the bunk bed ladder. I ran outside the caravan and which soon my feet touched the ground, the tsunami alert from the speakers went on out of no where telling us to evacuate the place. The warning told us that it was not a test and we should not ignore the tsunami alert. It all felt like in the movies, the warning announcement was still clear in my mind, I remember every word from the announcement “Warning, this is a tsunami alert, please evacuate the place immediately. This is not a test”
The woman in the tsunami alert sounds exactly like the woman in “The Purge” movie where the woman was giving an announcement before the purge start. To be honest though, I did not have time to be scared about my life, I was too worried about my family as I ran to sit at the front passenger side and took the navigation tablet and went on type ‘Tekapo Helicopter Land’, checked the route which avoided the beach and asked my brother-in-law to follow the navigation given.
As we drove away from the beach, my father keeps asking to check how far are we from the water side because there are no more cars following us anymore, my dad got worried and asked my brother-in-law to stop beside the road as we can see from the map that we have to pass by a big river if we continue to the route. My father asked my brother-in-law to turn back around to the town area and waited there as he noticed when we passed by the town, we had good phone coverage so we can check the google map.
So we went back to the town called Darfield, where we saw most of car parked at the side of the road and waited inside their vehicles. I greeted one of the lady who also was wandering and talking to others, I asked if it’s save to wait in this area and she told me it’s much better to wait here until it’s really save rather than go further to south as she stated we might be stranded here for couple days so it is better to stay at Darfield because at the town they have public toilet with water supplies and petrol stations so we have the access to all of the facilities.
My brother-in-law met a local reporter who also waited at the side of the road of Darfield and he advised my brother-in-law to make sure our tanks is always full and told him that Darfield is a highland with 200 to 300 meter above sea level which is save from tsunami which predicted to be 3 to 5-meter high. I went back to my caravan and waited until I slept but about less than 20 minutes after I forced myself to wake up and stay awake so my brother-in-law won’t be alone since he needs to stay awake and be alert with the surrounding in case the tsunami higher than expected.
To be continue…