Friday, November 6, 2009

Update on Yesterday’s Quakes

True to my experience, the newspaper says yesterday evening’s earthquake was the biggest in that region in 10 years.

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.