Writer's Block

The USA is the place I was born. Canada is the place I was raised. Taiwan is the place in my heart.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Shaken and stirred

The earthquake hit last night around 8:30pm, as I was in my room working away on my computer- writing up a final exam for one of my classes next week. The US Geological Survey measured it at 7.2 on the Richter scale. The Central Weather Bureau (CWB) in Taipei measured it at 6.7. I was sitting on one of those chairs with wheels, so the swaying effect of the earthquake was intensified as my chair rolled back and forth.

I got up and went into the livingroom where my parents were and we sat around waiting, watching and listening as the building visibly shifted, and the walls swayed and creaked from side to side. I wondered what we should be doing to stay safe, or to secure things from falling or breaking. We live on the 29th floor, so what was there to do? There was nowhere to go, nothing to do but wait it out. Even though we were quite certain that our building was earthquake safe, it was rather unsettling. It was a reminder that when that time comes, or when certain situations arise, we are powerless, completely defenseless.

Afterwards, when I was in the bathroom standing over the sink getting ready to go out and meet up with some friends, I actually felt a little woosy and wobbly. Then the second one hit. (The CWB measured it at 6.4) This time it felt like the building was bouncing up and down! That's the first time I've felt an earthquake like that. Most earthquakes rock and shift, leaving you feeling a bit off balance, as if you're seasick, but this second one was much more intense but shorter. The glass doors to our built-in wall display units flapped open and closed, and sliding doors rolled back and forth. Amazingly, through it all, nothing fell or broke.

When it was all finally over, I wondered if it was safe to venture out. As we listened to announcements over the building intercom, we learned that one out of three elevators was out of commission.

I was more shaken than I expected- feeling a little throbbing of the temples and minor headache, but figured that getting out would do me some good. As I walked into the cool, brisk air, I felt grounded.

Life goes on.


  • At 1/02/2007 10:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Life does not go on. Life is random and we are lucky to be here. And then we die.

    Very good post on the Quake that day. 29th floor, OMIGODS!

    The thing about equakes is that, unlike hurricanes or tornadoes or floods or snowstorms or taifoons, there is NO warning. Right smack in the middle of your life, WHAM, the quake hits and you have NO CONTROL. that is what is FRIGHTening.....

    you nailed it, dear blogger!

    PS; i wld suggest moving to one story house.... then agian, when our times comes, our time comes....... but dear gods, please, not a quake.

  • At 1/06/2007 2:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    (sorry to be a bit insensitive here)

    So are there any areas still affected by the earthquake? I've actually booked flights to come and backpack in 2 weeks, so would really LOVE to know where I should and should not go.!



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