Where were you during the 9/21 earthquake?

During the 9/21 earthquake? Watching these pictures make me seriously want to hit people that give us attitude because we get paid ‘so much money’ for doing jobs we aren’t qualified to do.

The traffic, typhoons, earthquakes and avian flu…danger pay!!

Taichung City
10th floor
8-month pregnant wife

When it hit I woke and watched my dresser drawers fly six feet across the room.

Wife cut her leg and nearly gave birth on the sidewalk.

Sat through aftershocks in the park on WenXin Rd and LISTENED to the sound of the Earth going elastic and bending beneath us.

Most of those buildings in Taichung, Taichung County and Ji-ji I saw close up in the following days; the one that fell in Hsin Chuang was directly across the street from my sister in law’s place. I walked right up to it, as the cops and media thought I was a rescue guy.

Every day after that has been extra IMHO.

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I hate this. I need to move soon, and I don’t want to live on a rooftop, because typhoons may flood the place…and earthquakes might crumble everything under me.

I don’t want to live on the ground floor…because everything may fall on me. Or a typhoon might flood my place.

I don’t want to stay inbetween the roof and ground either, because I want to get a friend for my dog, and they need space to go nuts in.

And then I may end up getting a place that is safe, but then I’m not even there IF a killer earthquake strikes…I’m in a basement buying KFC or teaching in an unsafe school.

How do you stop living AS IF a huge drama might unfold any minute? I will propably survive Taiwan and choke on a peanut back home. Grrrrr!!!

Stay away from buildings that are around 10 floors high, as they resonate at the same frequency as the average earthquake and are therefore more prone to collapsing.

I think.

I always ‘fantasize’ about myself leaping with my laptop and dog out of the window unto the roof of the building next door…while my building falls. Guess I should start working out.

I always fantasize about…ohh…no…we don’t want to go there.

I was sleeping on the 4th and top floor when it hit. I was in a deep sleep. When I woke up I just stumbled around trying to turn on lights and not understanding why none would work. I then went out on my balcony and watched the whole city stumbling around with no lights looking as confused as I. With large creepy shadows creeping up and down the buildings made from car headlights. My friend ran out of his apartment and started running down the stairs as soon as it started…needless to say he fell a few times since the stairs were jumping around.

When I first came here 8 years ago there was a significant quake every month. Now…I only feel them about once a year. I miss them.

I was in the 5th and top floor of a building in Taichung city. I woke up to put on a sweater and layed back down.

I had only been in Taiwan for 2 weeks and it was the first night in my first Taiwan apartment. My friend was sick with a fever and we were sleeping on tatami mats in the living room cause we didn’t have any furniture yet.

When a layed back down I head a noise from outside that sounded like a huge truck going by hitting a few pumps but it was off in the distance. A couple of seconds later. WHAMO!!!

I pulled my feverish friend off the floor. My door burst open (it had a metal frame so I guess from stress) and a half carried him down the stairs.

We got outside and were sitting at the side of the street. There were a few scooters that had crashed cause they were driving at the time so there were scratched up confused scooter drivers walking around.

While we were sitting there my landlord came to us and asked us if we could go upstairs and turn off the gas. I said I would do it and started up the stairs. 2 flights up a huge (7.1 I think it was) aftershock hit. I almost fell down the stairs.

I went back down. I was sitting on the concrete when a couple of aftershocks hit. It’s amazing how powerful that feels. You think of concrete as immovable.

Anyways. We waited for about 20 minutes and then went up again. I went to my friends apartment accross the hall to call my family. This was about 45minutes to an hour after it happened. When my sister picked up the phone the first thing she said was “Are you ok!?!?!”.

It’s amazing how fast imformation passes nowadays. I mean this thing was still happening under my feet and she knew about it on the other side of the planet.

I drove to Puli 2 days later. It was almost totally gone. Horrible. A friend who lived in my building went to see if his friends who lived there were ok. He found them. They had gone out to play Mah Jong and left their kids at home. That building fell and thier kids died.

It was a tragic and scary time. But it is something I will never forget. Tell the grandkids about it one day.

[quote=“Stray Dog”]Stay away from buildings that are around 10 floors high, as they resonate at the same frequency as the average earthquake and are therefore more prone to collapsing.

I think.[/quote]

I thought that was an urban legend since “floors” isn’t really a absolute scientific way to measure. But further research showed it seems to be 39.1 meters (3.91 m per floor) . So for Taiwan that must mean many 12/13 floor buildings are in danger of that frequency resonating too

On the other hand there must be many factors how the building was build and if it has a parking downstairs, or generally how it was build, no?.. Well, I guess. Its a question one could ask those USGS Earthquake specialists.

chungli. close to the train station. second floor, sleeeping. god it was hot. didn’t the electricity also go out that night before the quake?

i reacted by trying to get out of the building. the floor (concrete and rebar) of the building was rolling like waves. never seen nothing like it. tried running on it and guessing where step was like a hallucination. made it to the stairwell. went down on my butt. got out the door and in the street in my underwear. it was raining. only i came outside. nobody else was around. i wasn’t sure if it had been a dream or not. just stood there for a while. then a car drove by and i was sure i was awake. messed my leg up in the egress and it bothers me yet.

mentally, i would say i also have some degree of post-traumatic stress. am super sensitive to slight ground/floor movements.

my bed had moved two meters away from the wall.

i sat on the bed, packed up my “essentials” in the backpack and tried to chill. sleepiness came back and i laid down to sleep. the big aftershock came and i was out the door again and down the steps and into the street. ain’t no way i was going back inside. walked around. the 7-11 behind the chungli train station was open. the electric was out but the guy had a generator. he was ringing eveything up in his brain and writng it down. i sat outside, by the pile of bicycles, until dawn. went to work super early to find classes had been cancelled. taiwanese teachers were sleeping in their cars with their families as the spacious parking lot of JIA ZHOU (california) kindergarden was the nearest “clear” spot around they knew of that wasn’t in the fall zone of tall buildings.

All these people “running outside” when quakes hit :loco: . They tell you quite clearly that is the worst thing to do.

I was suoposed to be in Saigon on a two day stopover but miraculously I was tracked down by my then girlfriend cos Viet Air wanted me to pay extra money or jump on the plane after just one day. I’d spent the day running around Saigon and after a few tipples on the flight was toast by the time I arrived at CKS around 9:30pm.

GF picked me up and we drove back to Yong He, shagged madly cos we’d not seen each other in awhile and then crashed. She woke me up screaming when it hit, I managed to open one eye and mutter, “it don’t matter cos this aint Turkey” and promptly went back to sleep with the very vague sense that it was bigger than normal and that all the lights were out! She sat on the bed barely able to move for the rest of the night.

I was quite shocked at how serious it was the next day. More so because I’d lived in Taichung the previous year and was very worried about the many friends down that way. They were all alright, but I did wonder about a bunch of kids I’d taught mornings for a year down near where the bulk of the people were killed. Never found out, I think I’d prefer not to know.


Was reading a book in Yangmei when it hit…Ground floor. I tried to get to my daughter’s room and finally tipped her onto the ground. I then threw the mattress on top of her and waited…

The first aftershock was really violent, as the ground was moving up and down vertically. That sent us out of the house.

I lost part of my house as a kid in LA (Saugus quake 1971) so am not too fond of shaky ground.

Yes, the power went out just a couple of seconds before the first quake hit.

Under my living room table, shitting in my pants.
Then back to bed.

[quote=“sandman”]Under my living room table, shitting in my pants.
Then back to bed.[/quote]

Well…I hope someone hosed you down! :laughing:

I was safely in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, at the time.

Tried to call my wife’s family…didn’t get through. Tried email - got quick responses from friends and loved ones. Long live email!

I would have been a junior in college, having finished my study abroad in France, thinking about which country I was going to move to when I graduated in June of 2001.

I was living in a little rooftop “bungalow” above my landlady’s top floor apartment. I was sound asleep, and the first tremors woke me up. Feh, I thought, another earthquake, and tried to go back to sleep. But then the tremors got stronger and stronger, and I thought to myself, meh, this is a big one, and pulled the sheets over my head.

A few seconds later I was fully awake and out the door. Spent next hour or two in the drizzling rain outside on the rooftop, talking with my landlady and her family.

[quote]And then I may end up getting a place that is safe, but then I’m not even there IF a killer earthquake strikes…I’m in a basement buying KFC or teaching in an unsafe school.

There is no “IF” about it.

I was wizzing through the countryside in near Berwick -upon -Tweed in England in the very wee hours of the morning when I heard the news on the radio. I screeched to a halt at the next petrol station and watched the rest on the news bullet-ins with the cashier over a free cup of coffee.

I’d returned from Sha Lu, Taichung two days earlier.

I was working at the Taiwan News, along with poagao. I had just got home, showered, and gone to bed in our apartment on the top floor of an 8-floor block in downtown Taipei.

It was one of the first nights when it was cool enough for us not to use A/C. But most of our neighbors had their A/C on, and it seemed like the moment before the quake hit, the hum of their A/C units died. The building shook. I told my wife “don’t worry, it’s just an earthquake.” The shaking got worse. I said “F$$K!!, it’s a big earthquake!”

I called a friend in Tainan and asked: “Did you just feel the most terrifying earthquake you’ve ever felt?”

We got up and went down the stairs to the street, and wandered around for a little while. Then I called my parents, which turned out to be a good move as I think the international lines were blocked with heavy traffic for the next few days (folks checking on their relatives etc).

The next morning we had no power, but we walked a short distance and found an eatery with power, food, and a TV. We spent quite a while watching the TV before I had to go to work at the newspaper.

And there were plenty of aftershocks…

A couple of weeks before there had been a significant tremor and a few people were killed in the mountains. Maybe that and the continual revelations about the unique construction techniques common at the time (vegetable oil cans - “no, I don’t understand your culture”) were responsible for the dream I had just before where our building in Chubei (we were on the 15th floor) fell over - and there were no other high buildings to fall against. The dream was so vivid it woke me up.
So when the big one hit I really thought we were going to die, so grabbed my wife and kid told them I loved them and waited. When the quake stopped I thought we might not be so lucky the next time so we got out (I know you’re not supposed to but sssh…) We got to the car and drove to a country road where there was nothing to fall on us.

We had been planning to leave Taiwan but that put jet fuel in our tank. so we get to the UK never expecting to be involved in another. Two years later we’re in Milton Keynes in the center of England. Replay, middle of the night the house thinks it’s rodeo time. First damned significant quake in England in 200 years. Now we’re in Ireland where there’s never been any tremor recordered, ever, ever. But knowing my luck…