New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared unflustered as she was interrupted by an earthquake during a live TV interview on Monday morning.
Ardern was speaking to Newshub’s AM Show, a morning news show, just before 8 a.m. when a 5.8 magnitude earthquake hit near the town of Levin.
Almost 40,000 people felt the earthquake, The New Zealand Herald reported, and many rushed to reach cover. No major damage or fatalities have been reported.
Ardern was giving the interview an hour away in Wellington, the country’s capital, but seemed unflustered.
As the earthquake hit, she interrupted the interview host, Ryan Bridge, to note while smiling: “We’re just having a bit of an earthquake here, Ryan. Quite a decent shake here.”
She added that Bridge shouldn’t worry “if you see things moving behind me,” as the parliament building she was speaking from, called the Beehive, “moves a little more than most.”
She continued the interview after the shaking stopped, saying while smiling: “We’re fine”
“I’m not under any hanging lights. I look like I’m in a structurally strong place,” she said.
You can watch the moment here:
Ardern later told reporters that her first thought when the earthquake hit was: “Are you serious?”
A 5.8 magnitude earthquake can damage buildings that are not well constructed, and is typically felt by everyone in the area. Typically only a few hundred earthquakes of this intensity take place a year.
Ardern’s cool response to the earthquake has won her praise, adding to her image as a seemingly unflappable leader.
I get more rattled when I get a phone call and my ringer isn’t on silent than the prime minister of New Zealand gets during an earthquake https://t.co/g0vyhHJzBU
— Erin murder hornet Ryan (@morninggloria) May 25, 2020
Jacinda Ardern there just casually banging on with her interview during a 5.8 magnitude earthquake. Extremely Jacinda Ardern. pic.twitter.com/sKv6Gu66oz
— Hannah Jane Parkinson (@ladyhaja) May 25, 2020
Many connected her collected response to the praise she has received for how her country has handled the coronavirus pandemic.
New Zealand said in April that it had eliminated community spread of the virus.
New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern is the coolest cat around. First she dispatches with COVID-19. And here she is calm as can be doing her live interview during an EARTHQUAKE. #ElectMoreWomen https://t.co/rr0UpJyM7M
— Jess O’Connell (@JessOConnell) May 25, 2020