Cosmo de Bono: Earthquakes in Taiwan – May 2024

Visiting the Presidential palace with my classmate and language partner

Visiting the Presidential palace with my classmate and language partner

現在是五月份,我來台灣已經 9 個月了。我大部分時間都在學習,但是也進行了一些旅行。不過,在這次報告中,我想跟大家分享我在台灣的地震經驗。
花蓮(台灣東南部)最近發生了許多地震,但是大多數地震在台北還能感受到,而且有些地震規模相當大。跟日本一樣,台灣也有地震的歷史,但是大多數地震規模較小,幾乎感覺不到。我在台灣的頭幾個月,有時會感覺到非常輕微的搖晃,持續時間約 20 秒,但我意識到地面在搖晃的時侯,地震已經停止了。這類地震在台灣最常見,大家習以為常。
4 月 3 日上午,台灣到處都發生了 7.4 級地震。里氏震級是對數。這意味著每個數字都是前一個數字的 10 倍。比如說,2.5 級地震的威力是 1.5 級地震的 10 倍。因此,7.4 級地震的威力是平常 4-5 級地震的 從100 到 1000 倍。
在接下來的兩到三週裡,餘震不斷,大部分都發生在晚上。這些餘震大多在 5 級和 6 級之間。不過現在我已經習慣了,也知道如果發生更大的地震該怎麼辦。

Language centre after the large earthquake

Language centre after the large earthquake

Earthquakes in Taiwan
It’s now May and I’ve been in Taiwan for 9 months now. I’ve been mostly studying but have done some travelling as well. However, for this report, I’d like to share my experience of earthquakes in Taiwan.
There have been a lot of earthquakes recently in Hualien (southeast Taiwan) but most of them can still be felt from Taipei, and some have been quite large. Like Japan, Taiwan has a history of earthquakes, but most are small and can be hardly felt. In my first few months in Taiwan, I would sometimes feel very minor shaking for about 20 seconds, but by the time I realised the ground was shaking it had already stopped. These types of earthquakes are the most common in Taiwan and everyone is used to them.
On the 3rd of April in the morning there was an earthquake in across Taiwan that measured magnitude 7.4. The Richter scale is logarithmic. This means that each number is 10 times greater than the previous number. For example, a magnitude 2.5 earthquake is 10 times more powerful than a 1.5 magnitude one. So the 7.4 earthquake was 100 to 1000 times more powerful than the usual earthquakes which are between 4 -5 on the Richter scale.

My friend's kitchen after the earthquake

My friend’s kitchen after the earthquake

Earthquakes this large are quite scary. The shaking starts small and keeps getting bigger and bigger. You can feel everything surrounding you shaking back and forth, and objects around you start to fall over. The best thing to do is to hide under your bed or a table and stay away from windows.

Luckily, the buildings in Taipei are mostly all earthquake-resistant, so there is little risk of major damage to a building. However some of my friends ended up with cracks in their walls and broken pieces of furniture. I’ve attached some photos of my friends’ appartments. Luckily mine wasn’t damaged at all!

For the next two to three weeks there were many aftershocks, most of which happened at night. These were mostly between magnitude 5 and 6. By now though I’m pretty used to these and know what to do if there is a larger earthquake.

It’s important to emphasise that I’m completely safe in Taipei, but I thought it would interesting to explain the experience of these earthquakes as they have been an unexpected addition to my experience in Taiwan.


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