Thursday, November 5, 2009

Sandstorms and Earthquakes

It's been an interesting week of experiencing Mother Nature in south-central Taiwan.

First, on Monday morning we experienced a sandstorm with typhoon-force winds (I should mention that all the sand and dust were just local -- not from mainland China-- due to the lack of rain here in months). It lasted from around 5:00 am or earlier to late in the night, and spread thick layers of dust inside all homes, schools, and businesses. The old timers I consulted all say it was the first time in their lives here they've experienced anything like it.

Secondly, just now as I was driving back from Taichung I felt two sizable earthquakes centered in Nantou County, exactly where I happened to be driving at the time! As I was heading south on the freeway, I had just adjusted my seat when the car lurched to the left and right. I was lucky I didn't lose control. At the time I wondered if something was wrong with my steering wheel or if the chair adjustment had sent me lurching unknowingly. Only when I got home did I learn from a neighbor it was an earthquake. According to the National Weather Bureau website, it was a 6 in magnitude located off the closest exit to my position.

About an hour later I was stopped at a drive-in window of a fastfood restaurant when an aftershock hit. Again, it was a sizaeable earthquake, a 5.7--- definitely the biggest I've felt here personally since 921 back in '99. According to the website, there have already been 6 aftershocks since the initial quake in just 3 hours.


Judy said...

Mark, I'm glad you are ok! Yikes!

Amrita said...

Gosh that was bad. May the Lord keep you safe.

I have been a terrible earthquake which killed a lot of people and destroyed property. I know how terrible it is. I was in a state of shock for days.