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.