Boxing Day morning we woke up at 2am to a rattling and a shaking. It felt like something had run into the building. Then I remembered we were in Christchurch so it must have been an earthquake but I wasn't sure. Jen popped up and said "holy cow, an earthquake!" Before that I wasn't sure what it was, but then we all got sure. It only shook for a few seconds. We weren't sure what we were supposed to do, never having been in an earthquake before! We thought we were supposed to stay inside and get under something. Then another aftershock happened. We heard people in the halls and decided to get dressed in case we needed to go out. The power was out so it was hard to see in our room but eventually we got going.
The people in the hall said we were supposed to go outside. There were a bunch of people milling around looking confused. No one knew what to do. A few minutes later, a man from the hotel next to us announced that safest place was inside and people were coming to check things out. We went back to the hostel where people were going back to bed. Thanks hostel for coming and telling us.
We went back up to bed and then back to sleep. At eight, another smaller shock woke us up. We decided not to hang around Christchurch. We got up and going, showered, talked to my family and told them about our excitement. At about 10:30 we were walking to the car and heard the rattling sound again. I grabbed for Andrew and saw a parked car rocking back and forth. It didn't feel like you would fall, but it did seem like you should be holding on to something. It was honestly such a weird feeling, very hard to describe, but just that nothing is safe at that moment. We could hear all the windows rafting above us. A guy popped out of the hostel we were in front of, a bit rattled. We kind of laughed together and went on. Our hostel had said the aftershocks were nothing to worry about, but we wanted to get out of there.
It was only after that we found out the shock was a 4.9 and did cause some damage. Here is a link to the news story. We are all fine, and it was actually kind of interesting!