Earthquakes in Taiwan

Recently there have been a few earthquakes in Taiwan showing everyone once more what kind of power earthquakes could actually release. Before I came to Taiwan, I never experienced any earthquake, but just one month after I arrived here, I already had my first earthquake encounter.

I was alone at home at that time, preparing to go to Chinese classes, when suddenly the house started to shake and I only could wait and see whether the shaking would get stronger or not. Fortunately, earthquakes are not that strong in Taipei County, however, when I experienced it for the first time, even quite a small earthquake was enough to get me nervous. Since then, I passed along 20 or 30 other earthquakes and I actually once started not to count them anymore. So I could really say that I meanwhile „got used“ to earthquakes, but does one can really talk of usage in such a case

Germans don’t have any experience with big earthquakes such as the one from 9/21/1999 (921), thus I really don’t know about the impact of a really big earthquake. However, I also don’t have any intention to find it out!! But for sure I can understand that earthquakes in Taiwan frighten a lot of people, especially those who live near to the center of the 921 earthquake.

Last week, a strong quake happened near to Hualian. We also felt strong shocks in Xindian and this was my strongest earthquake in Taiwan so far. My wife and me were already looking for shelter, however, the earthquake passed really soon. At that time a bit of what might happen at a big earthquake came to my mind.

If it’s about typhoons, people have some time to prepare. For sure, damage cannot be entirely prevented by that, but some precautions can nevertheless be taken. But with earthquakes? It seems that there is no warning at all. This kind of uncertainty is quite disturbing; on the other hand, bad things might happen every time and everywhere, so worryingly waiting for the next earthquake is certainly not the best way to deal with it. Whether an attitude like „Que sera sera“ (without being careless) is a good method I also don’t know, but for sure it’s a relaxing one

And although houses in Taiwan have some disadvantages, I really hope that they won’t collapse at the first blow. So far, everything was no real problem at all, but to say it once more…I absolutely don’t want to find it out by myself.


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