Taiwan earthquake: I admit I was terrified

1 week ago 42

Updated

Apr 03, 2024, 11:44 PM

Published

Apr 03, 2024, 11:20 PM

NEW TAIPEI – Since I was posted to Taiwan 1½ years ago, I have felt a number of minor tremors. 

They were usually over within seconds, and sometimes so mild that I could not be sure if they were earthquakes.

On the morning of April 3, however, the ceiling lamp in my New Taipei apartment swayed violently. My glass room divider rattled. My mug did not tip over, but almost all the milk tea inside it flew out and spilled across my table.

I admit, I was terrified.

The floor shook hard for what felt like an entire minute.

As a Singaporean who had never experienced this before, I realised I should have been better prepared about what to do. Should I have left the building instead of staying put? I wasn’t sure.

During the next hour, I experienced at least six more aftershocks. One never gets used to them, I thought. 

The 7.4-magnitude earthquake that had struck the waters off Hualien county in eastern Taiwan is the island’s strongest in 25 years, killing nine people and injuring more than 900.

In 1999, a 7.6-magnitude earthquake hit central Taiwan in the middle of the night and killed more than 2,400 people.

The April 3 temblor struck at a depth of 15.5km shortly befor...

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