Bricks and tiles fell off houses and windows were cracked at a local pub in the small Marlborough town closest to the epicentre of yesterday's swarm of severe earthquakes.
About 900 people live in the Ward, located about 20 kilometres south of Seddon.
Stu Orr said he was at the East Coast Inn when the 6.6 magnitude earthquake struck yesterday afternoon.
"About four of us ran out of the bar with pints in our hands."
The group surprisingly managed to save some of their from slopping out of the glasses as they ran, he said.
Several windows at the pub cracked during the shaking, and the floor in the laundry area at the back had moved.
Orr's house did not suffer any serious damage after the quake, but had endured "a good shake-up", as had most of the animals in the area.
"The animals were going mental right after," he said.
Zac Walls said he was in Christchurch for the February 2011 earthquake, but felt yesterday's quake was "more intense".
"The aftershocks have been more frequent," he said.
Roof tiles fell and a chimney cracked at Hayden Shadbolt's 54-year-old home during the quake.
He rushed to pull tarpaulins over the damage before heavy rain began to fall and was on the roof when a magnitude 6.3 aftershock hit.
"That was fun," he joked.
Shadbolt dove under a table when the first big earthquake hit, along with his wife and their three children, aged 17 months, eight and 13.
The 37-year-old had lived in Ward his whole life, but yesterday's shake was the biggest he had ever felt.
"It was pretty fierce you could say. It was a big sudden jar, just kept moving in to, getting stronger and stronger.
"We get little ones, like one to two a year, but nothing like this. I don't want to feel another one."
The house was built in 1949 and was formerly used as a post office.
The family stayed at a friend's house last night, too scared to stay in the tile-roofed house in case another big shake struck, Shadbolt said.
Power was off until late last night, but the family were still without water today.
Further up the road, on the banks of Lake Elterwater, a modern home suffered serious damage when the top half of an exterior brick wall collapsed during the shaking.
The homeowner was too upset to speak today, but a neighbour said the home was only two years old.
Motorhome driver Barry Mechin was on his way home to Taranaki from Christchurch when the yesterday's quake struck.
He stayed the night in Kaikoura, but drove to Ward this morning to wait for the road to reopen.
"It's pretty scary though. There's just nothing you can do [if an earthquake strikes] that's the scary part."
He was inside his bus when the big quakes struck.
"You think somebody's rocking the bus, but it's actually the earthquake doing it."
Robyn and Robert Stebbings were also trying to make their way home to Riwaka, near Motueka, after a three-day holiday at Ward Beach.
"One of the shakes spilled my coffee," Robert Stebbings laughed.
"We'll stop in Blenheim for the night. We've got plenty of coffee on board, plenty of tea."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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