I was just checking in on this issue as I'm just now starting to get back into TG work after the earthquake. Thanks for the good wishes. We were very much in the middle of the earthquake. Fortunately nearly everyone in the village where I live was ok, although very sadly someone did die. Our house wasn't too badly effected, so far just some damage to the foundations which will need repair. Of course pretty much everything inside ended up on the floor. We were very lucky though. A number of houses in the village and the local area were very badly damaged and will be demolished. The roads were badly damaged too, we weren't able to leave the village for over a week.
There is one of the major fault lines on the South Island running past just at the top of the village (the Hope Fault) so we always knew there was the possibility of a big earthquake, but I guess we weren't expecting it so soon! In fact the Hope Fault didn't really rupture much, but a whole lot of others did. Still quite a few aftershocks, most of which seem to happen just as you've got off to sleep, annoyingly..