Ep 9: 921 Earthquake Museum of Taiwan in Taichung
Arriving at the 921 Earthquake Museum of Taiwan, we are greeted by the very friendly guide, who takes us around and tells us how earthquakes happen, and specifically, what happened on the fateful day that the earthquake struck Taiwan.
The 921 earthquake occurred at 1:47am local time on Tuesday, September 21, 1999. 2,415 people were killed, 11,305 injured, and NT$300 billion worth of damage was done. It was the second-deadliest quake in recorded history in Taiwan, after the 1935 Hsinchu-Taichung earthquake.
At the time of the quake Taiwan had the most extensive network of sensors and monitoring stations in the world, resulting in "probably the best data set ever collected for an earthquake". At one station, a peak ground motion of 300cm/s was recorded, the highest ever measurement taken in an earthquake anywhere. Soil liquefaction was observed at Yuanlin and caused settlement of building foundations and filling in of water wells from sand boils. The earthquake occurred along the Chelongpu Fault in the western part of the island of Taiwan. The fault stretches along the foothills of the Central Mountains in Nantou County and Taichung.
In Wufeng, where the 921 Earthquake Museum is now located, the damage is especially devastating; the village's Guangfu Junior High School lay directly on the fault line and was severely damaged by the quake. Thankfully, the earthquake happened in the middle of the night, off school hours. It would be unimaginable to think of how many more young lives could have been taken if the quake had happened just a couple of hours later.
The purpose of the 921 Museum now serves to inform and educate the public on what to do during an earthquake, and what measures to take even before an earthquake happens. Joanne-Marie leaves the place feeling much more informed; and reminded to never take things for granted.
For more information:
921 Earthquake Museum of Taiwan (http://qiito.com/place/4050-921-earthquake-museum-of-taiwan)
No.46, Zhongzheng Road, Wufeng District, Taichung City