On Sunday, Taiwan (Yilan, specifically) was hit by three earthquakes moments apart, the first was 6.5, the second was 5.4, and the third was 4.2. There was some minor damage and road closures were reported, but thus far only one injury to a hiker no deaths. That’s what happens when you build to withstand earthquakes.
Reuters posted a report on youtube. Someone posted video from their home, which looked the same as I felt it. USGS says it’s only 6.2, but that’s from 10,000km away. I’m actually a little surprised the effects weren’t worse. It has been raining incessantly for a week, and waterlogged soil could have easily turned to mudslides. There was no earthquake when Typhoon Morakot caused massive landslides in 2009.
What surprised people was the sharpness of it (for lack of a better word). Many quakes here are slow, rolling quakes, and they feel like a plate sliding across a table that’s being pulled left and right. This one felt like the table was jerked once, and the plate fell to the floor and shattered. A month ago, I had to replace my refrigerator. The old one was 150cm tall, the new one is about 90cm. And the new one almost tipped over. Good thing I was home.
This was almost the anniversary of the last big quake I felt directly, a 6.4 on Hallowe’en 2013.