Increasing Earthquakes Cause Alarm

Tyler Leu, Staff Writer

In more recent months and years, Taiwan has experienced an increase in earthquakes. On October 10, a 5.9 earthquake in the ocean off the coast of Taiwan caused minor damage. However, the 6.9 earthquakes that occurred on September 18 caused greater damage.

Occurring at 2:44 pm local time, a monstrous 6.9 magnitude earthquake struck Taiwan’s southeast Taitung County. While the worst impact was felt in Southeastern Taiwan, a tremor was felt all across the island. In Yuli Township, Hualien County, a residential building with a 7-Eleven on the first floor collapsed. The one and only casualty caused by the earthquake happened at this site. In Fuli Township, Hualien County, a train derailed in the station after a piece of concrete fell from over the track. However, no injuries were reported to be caused by this incident.

Also in Yuli Township, the Gaoliao Bridge, a bridge crossing the Xiuguluan River collapsed and twisted over. While no one was injured by it, a man who was on a section of the bridge shot a video of it afterward. The bridge resembles dominos that were knocked over.

How did the earthquake affect the daily lives of the people around Taiwan? While the large cities on the West and North Coasts are largely unaffected by the earthquake, there are a lot of issues on the East Coast of Taiwan. Following the Earthquake, the Eastern Trunk Line between Yuli and Fuli is still disrupted.

Audrey Leu, a Taiwanese high school student from the Taipei American School, a private school based on an American curriculum said, “I was in class during the earthquake. Most of my friends and family were not really affected by the earthquake. (The earthquake) was out of nowhere so it was really scary, but overall the earthquake wasn’t that bad where I live.”

When asked if she thought that some of the damage caused by the earthquake was preventable, Ms. Leu said, “I honestly don’t think the damage could have been prevented because the buildings that collapsed were all older buildings that weren’t earthquake-proof.”

Students at George Washington Middle School were asked if continuous earthquakes could cause changes in the world. Joey Granelli, 8, said, “If earthquakes are hurting people, we should look for ways to prevent them.” Students said the repetitive earthquakes could help build new technology to decrease earthquake casualties. This can already be shown in Japan because their EEW (Early Earthquake Warning) System alerts devices and people of an earthquake as the earthquake is starting which could prevent major injuries during the main part of the earthquake. These warnings give people a few seconds to prepare and are more aware of their surroundings.

Although earthquakes leave many issues after they strike, leaving casualties and issues that inconvenience an entire nation, they do have the benefit of allowing technology to be developed to allow people to prepare for more earthquakes in the future, and also to make sure to upkeep buildings and bridges, where most of the issues lay.