‘Quite a decent shake here’: New Zealand PM shrugs off 5.8 magnitude earthquake during live TV interview

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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was unaffected by an earthquake that struck the capital Wellington on Monday while she was doing an interview, and calmly continued with the live TV.

Wellington and nearby areas were shaken by a 5.8 magnitude earthquake with the epicentre 30 km northwest of Levin, a city close to the capital, and at a depth of 37 km, according to Geonet.

Ms Ardern was speaking on a live TV interview at the time from the parliament building, called the Beehive.

“We are just having a bit of an earthquake here, Ryan... ,” she told the host of the show Ryan Bridge, as she, the camera and other things around her shook.

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

Ms Ardern assured the host that she was safe and the interview resumed.

The video was soon viral on social media.

There were no damages and no injuries, Ms Ardern confirmed at a news conference later, but the shaking that lasted for more than 30 seconds caused panic in Wellington with several people in offices and homes getting under their tables for cover.

New Zealand lies on the seismically active “Ring of Fire”, a 40,000-km arc of volcanoes and ocean trenches girdling much of the Pacific Ocean.