Wednesday, December 27, 2006

My first earthquake

I survived my first earthquake! Here you can read about it:

The earthquake was centered around the southern tip of the island, whereas I am in Taichung which is more central/ north. It measured about a 3 or 3.5 on the Richter Scale here.

I was teaching class when it happened. There were 2, each of which lasted about a minute. I didn't really feel the first one- the Chinese Teacher jumped up and said "Earthquake!" in English. This was in my Level 1 class and I was like, "You can speak Chinese!" Because as we know I still can't say earthquake in Chinese. I will have to look it up!

She was a little freaked out but the kids seemed OK. The second one I could feel and the kids seemed kind of excited- they were touching the walls, etc. It was a little chaotic. I didn't really know what to do but I guess they will tell us if we need to evacuate. The brach staff was just standing around, chatting.

We finished class although frankly I was killing time anyways so it was hard to get much momentum back up. It's kind of weird coming from the land of Snow Days- I feel like, there is a natural disaster-ish thing, we should get to go home! But no.

During training they told us that the back-and-forth earthquakes are scarier but the up-and-down ones are more damaging. The big 9-20 earthquake had both. I guess this was back-and-forth but I couldn't really tell.

I knew when I came here that earthquakes are pretty common and I'm glad to have my first one over with. I'm also glad it happened at work, where other people knew what was going on. If it had happened at home with my roommates, none of us would have known if it was serious or not.

Just some random info: the building I live in is tall (22 floors) which seems scary, but taller buildings have much stricter codes so it should be safer. There are lots of cracks in the walls of my apt, esp upstairs, but I guess that won't hurt anything. Nothing was amiss in my apartment when I got home, not even any pictures down or eggs cracked.

Also, unless there is another 9-20 style earthquake centered right near my apartment, I'm more likely to die by going outside stupidly in a typhoon. And if there is a big earthquake probably phone lines will be down for a while. So don't be sad or scared if there would be a big one someday, unless you know it's centered in northern Taichung city. Then you can be scared or sad, and I will be too.

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