On Feb. 22, 2011, Christchurch, New Zealand's second city, was struck by a short but shallow 6.3-magnitude tremor that left the city completely incapacitated — an event then-Prime Minister John Key referred to as the country's "darkest day."

The quake, which struck a city already weakened by a huge 7.1-magnitude jolt months earlier, crippled the city's infrastructure, caused major damage to residential areas and killed 185 people, proving to be the second most deadly earthquake to ever hit the island nation.

Then, just over two weeks later, the devastating Tohoku triple disaster occurred here in Japan. For New Zealanders living in this country, the timing of these two tragedies created not just heightened anxiety and stress, but also the ominous feeling that Mother Nature was attacking them on two fronts at once.