“I was sneaking one of my favourite biscuits because it was morning tea time and all of a sudden I heard this rumbling noise, rather like a train coming into the station,” he told RNZ.
“Then the ground started to slowly move and then it got faster and faster until it reached a crescendo and there was a huge jolt.”
He says that jolt caused all the damage, destroying buildings and water supplies.
His grandparents lived in Napier, and his family had no way to find out if they were alive.
But Logan said a worker offered to ride a motorbike into Napier to find them.
“How he got into Napier I do not know because the road was full of cracks and bits were fallen away, bridges were destroyed. The road on both sides of where we were living was blocked by slips, but he got back in the very early hours of the next day, the next morning, having found them and was able to tell my father that they were safe.”
Another witness speaking to RNZ in a 1981 Spectrum documentary described the quake noise as just “bang, clatter, smash, crack, creak”.
She said she watched the destruction from Napier’s old nursing home, not nervous or frightened, but fascinated.
“I remember seeing my cup and saucer just fly across the room, smash against the plaster wall, then I saw that corner of the room collapse. Then I saw the dressing table just come over and that wall go.”
Photo caption – The old Post Office building on the corner of Queen and Russell Streets, Hastings. Photo: SUPPLIED/ Hastings District Council