New Zealander with Walla Walla connections describes earthquake

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A little before 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 22, Melissa Chrisp was preparing for her next class at Canterbury University when a 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck the areanear Christchurch, New Zealand.

Chrisp, 21, who has spent time visiting and volunteering in Walla Walla over the last few years, described the moments of the earthquake as the 8-story school building she was in began to shake and pieces of ceiling began to fall around her. Eventually, she said, the lights went out in the lecture hall she was in and she and her fellow students navigated the rubble in darkness.

They eventually made it outside as a series of aftershocks continued to rattle the city.

"I saw a 1-foot, kind of round piece of concrete come down and narrowly miss me and someone else who was standing there," Melissa recalled.

She spoke to us yesterday via Skype and described the earthquake and the aftermath around the city of Christchurch.

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