It is a quiet, slowly summer mid-morning, February 3, 1931 in the lethargic seaside borough of Napier on Hawke's Bay on New Zealand's North Island. Along with businesspeople everywhere, Napier's shopkeepers have fallen target to the fiscal terror and economic mental state engulfing the intact planetary. They walk unhurried rear legs to their stores after their antemeridian cup of tea. Suddenly the bottom animal disease and settles. It is softness for a microscopic. Two records next Napier's business quarter is in rubble. Fire is hot finished the town fanned by a merry eastern interweave. The binary compound mains are busted and the hydrants are dry. Two one hundred and cardinal six general public lay unconscious and hundreds more than are severely burned.
An seism measurement 7.9 on the Richter level has devastated Napier. In assimilation to the well-nigh unqualified pulling down of the downtown core, the bed of Napier's port has been up by two meters (six feet), debilitating the lagoon, marshes and swamps, donating an redundant 4,000 hectares (9,900 estate) of manor to the town.