FOREST Lake woman Eseta Aupa'Au was at work last week when she heard the news that chilled her blood.
Before she moved to Forest Lake just over two years ago, Ms Aupa'Au, 44, had called Christchurch home.
And her family – parents, brothers and other relatives – still live in the New Zealand city that was reduced to rubble last Tuesday by a 6.3 magnitude earthquake.
“When I first heard about the earthquake, my immediate reaction was to call my family,” Ms Aupa'Au said.
“Fortunately, my son now studies in Wellington but I was concerned for the safety of my parents and brothers.
Though she was unable to contact her parents, Ms Aupa'Au has since spoken with her brothers who reassured her the family was safe.
“Their homes were damaged but I was told everyone escaped injury, which I was relieved to hear,” she said.