Shaken, not Stirred!


Everybody ok? Check in, please!


Scared but otherwise OK.

The CENTRAL WEATHER BUREAU said that the intensity of the earthquake occuring at 3/31/2002 14:52:54.7 was 5 in Taipei City and 6.8 at the epicentre.


i am still quite frightened. does this happen often? i don’t think i could bear to live in fear of a really big earthquake - one feels absolutely helpless…


Not often, but sometimes! And this one is the second powerful one in my past 25 yrs in Taipei.(the most powerful one is 921 in 1999)


I just woke up and heard about the earthquake. I pray everyone is ok. My bf has been able to contact his family, they seem to be fine – which is good news. I never thought about the possibility of an earthquake, when thinking about moving… Though, it is good to hear from Chiao that strong one’s don’t happen often.



By bizarre coincidence it occurred in the middle of Goldfinger on ITV. Hope your Martinis are all safe and well.


I have heard contradicting instructions on what to do during an earthquake, to hide under a table or not. Does anyone know?

Originally posted by Checkers: I have heard contradicting instructions on what to do during an earthquake, to hide under a table or not. Does anyone know?

Depends on where you are. The best solution is to get out and away from any higher buildings as fast as you can. If you are on the 10th floor, this might consume some time, so for the moment you should at least try to protect your body from falling debris. Getting under a table or standing in a door frame may sound silly, but you will be safer there than in the middle of your room waiting for something to crush down on your head. As soon as the trembling is over: Get out of the building - at least if it was a stronger quake and there is the danger of some more shaking coming soon…
But in Taiwan, it is often ok to do as all the locals do - they have been here for a while and they know when a quake is a “strong” one and when it means nothing.


what to do , what to do.

I always knew it’s safer not to run out where stuff will fall off the building. Did I follow that rule, of course not. Yesterday I was walking along and the ground just started convulsing underneath me (it seemed to be particularly bad in some areas of downtown taipei compared to NeiHu etc) and the windows started coming out of the office building I was standing under. I thought the whole building was going to go cos it was a 30 yr old office building. So I stuck my bag over my head and there was a rain of glass falling all round me. I ran onto the road where luckily most of the traffic has stopped.
When I looked at the building from the other side whole sections of the front had fractured and
windows were cracked and missing along the whole facade, the whole front could have come down if it was much longer.

I looked at the nearby Starbucks I’d just exited and a load of bricks were lying just where I had walked out the door, down the st 10 metres a car was destroyed with more bricks.

I drove around Taipei and noticed some interesting things. Some of the new boutiques on ChungSiao had big plate windows missing. Then I checked the Far Eastern Hotel. Not one window was damaged- shows you the difference building quality makes!


Do cracks in your building (rather large) matter?

The locals haven’t moved out.


I think it was stronger than 921 in Taipei. I was at home ont he 11th floor roof, and shite we were moving around. Lost some plates and cups (half the stuff in the kitchen fell down) and had to clean up a mess of broken glass, soy sauce, sesame oil and wet coffee powder. 1st time I’ve been SCARED in an earthquake. Must be getting old.

As to what to do. It think getting out of your building is a BAD idea while it’s still happening. Windows break outwards, so you run much more risk of getting hit by falling shit. If you’re worried your buliding might fall down in aftershocks get out and go to the park once the first movement has stopped.

I used to live in Welllington NZ which is about 60 years overdue for a MAJOR shake and they always taught us to stand under door frames or if none are available, tables. I’ve seen photos of the 1930s earthquake in Napier (NZ) and all that is left is doorframes. These are wooden houses though, so it might be different. We used to have to keep water and spare clothes and shoes at work, because the main business streets (lots of close high-rises in Wellington) will be buried under meters of broken glass and you might not be able to get out for days.



Rule of thumb for structural damage
if you can stick a pencil into a crack, then it is structural damage and not just craked plaster…and should be checked by a structural engineer…although after 921 earthquake… I saw these cracks just being covered in some buildings.

My standard procedure for eathquakes is to put on my motorcycle helmet and stand in a door way…then after the eathquke I open some windows incase of a gas leak

and something they were talking on the news about yesterday… the earthquake yesterday was excatly 921 days after the 921 earthquake


I remember that after my baptism of fire to Taiwan’s earthquakes during the 9/21 event, my Taiwanese colleague suggested that I should have a handy whistle along with a bagful of goodies (e.g. drink and cookies) so just in case the building collapses, then I have more chances of survival to call the attention of the rescuers (by blowing the whistle, ahem). She told me that this was what was advised to most people after the 921 quake. Makes sense, huh knowing that architectural integrity of buildings in Taipei cannot be assured.


I was on Yang Ming Shan and felt one or two slight tremors, only when I came back into town later in the evening I realized what happened.
My apartment was ok (just some water bottles jumped around) but the office was pretty messed up though nothing seriously borken and no casualties of course, the fassade of the building across the road looks pretty bad though (corner Fu-Shing/Ba-De Rd).


We were near the crane that fell, at a meeting near the world trade center. Saw stuff falling off the construction tower. The two smaller buildings across the street ended up leaning against each other, the stone (or cement or whatever) crumbled off the top corners of the colliding buildings.

Judging from the damage reported on the news and personal experience, it was worse for Taipei than 9/21


I was riding on the MRT, coming off the ramp
from Peitou station down to the Fuhshingkang
stop… The train car started to rock to
and fro as if it had lost some wheels
and was running over them… Then I realized
it was a shaker and the train ground to a
halt and the train kept swaying…

Not too scary… We had to get off the train
at Fuhshingkang… My stop anyway… No sign
of damage up here in Peitou… I had no idea
so many buildings were damaged downtown…

You realize, of course, that Taiwan is a mega-
disaster waiting to happen. With so many
buildings already weakened by previous quakes,
all it will take is one big shaker near the city
and it will be like a nuke hit the place… I
wonder when that will happen? I hope I’ve left
before that fateful day comes…



I feel so guilty…

Roughly 24 hours before the 921 quake, we left Taiwan to come to the US for our wedding…

Roughly 24 hours before this last quake, I left Taiwan for vacation in the States…

Next thing the border authorities will not only grant me Permanent Residence, they will probably create a new category of Forced Permanent Residence to prevent future occurrences!!


To Ironlady: Or you can just simply let us know when you are leaving next time. Then maybe we can all run away or at least get out of the buildings roughly 23 hrs after your departure!..hehehe…


Ironlady, do you understand just how much money you could make by organizing group tours under your leadership? Everyone would want to be in your group when you leave Taiwan…
You should consider to inform the papers about that relation. Every time there was a stronger shaking the papers are full of articles about strange things happening in advance of the quake, you could ride on that wave…


Ironlady, I managed to do such travel arangements the other way arround: I was here during the 921 earthquake - a month later I took 40 Taiwanese hardware dealers on a dealer-trip to California, where we had a 5 point something earhtquake in greater L.A.

It just made my dealers feel like home …