I wanted to share with you the experience of Earthquake today early morning in Taipei. It happened around 3AM Friday (07Sep2007). It was a vigorous shake in middle of my sleep, which wake me up. I felt like somebody was jumping on the bed, by my side, and soon realized I am alone in the room and it has to be earthquake. I tried to look into the glass window from hotel room and saw some of the cars hooting aloud as the security systems would have triggered by the quake. By that time, I could feel the entire building is swaying and the wooden things like room partitions and ceiling was making sound that is generally heard when wooden plank is bent or sheared.
I got frightened and went running out of the room when the quake stopped. I came back to the room to put on the slippers when it again started. It was terrible, and I went running down taking the stairs to the reception. I could see some people like me had already gathered at the hotel lobby and many other anxious people peeping out of the balcony of the above floors. The receptionist explained that this kind of shock is frequent in Taiwan and we need not panic. By that time everything was normal. But it took some time for me to get back to sleep. It was amazing experience - probably I felt it more intense as I was in the 8th floor of the building. I wonder how the buildings in Taiwan last so long in midst of frequent earthquakes.
BREAKING NEWS : 6.6 quake, aftershocks jolt Taiwan
Taipei (dpa) - Three earthquakes measuring 6.6, 5.7 and 3.9 on the Richter scale respectively rocked Taiwan early Friday, causing small damages but there were no immediate reports of casualties. The first quake, measuring 6.6, struck at 1:51 am Friday (1751 GMT Thursday) with its epicentre 74.6 kilometres from Ilan on Taiwan's northeastern coast and 27 kilometres under the sea, the Seismological Observation Centre said. It was followed four minutes later by an 5.7-magnitude aftershock, in the same region. At 3:32 am (1932 GMT Thursday), a tremor measuring 3.9 jolted Taitung in southeast Taiwan.
The quakes were felt all over the island, causing bottles and cups to tumble off shelves and window frames to rattle. Many residents living in high rises in Taipei ran onto the street, fearing their buildings might collapse. In Ilan, an arch of the Buddhist Lu Yuan Temple tumbled to the ground, but no one was injured, according to TV reports. The quakes triggered rockfalls along the Suao-Hualien Highway on Taiwan's mountainous east coast. In Panchiao, a satellite city of Taipei, bricks broke lose from a building and smashed several parked cars, but no one was injured. Lu Pei-ling, deputy director of the Seismological Observation Centre, said there was no cause for panic, stressing that the quakes were the normal release of seismic energy. "The 5.7 quake was the aftershock of the 6.6 quake. So after the 6.6 quake, there shouldn't be any bigger quake," she said.
Taiwan lies on the circum-Pacific seismic belt, where 68 per cent of the world's quakes occur. Most of the earthquakes which hit Taiwan occur off the east coast because of friction between the Eurasian Plate and the Philippine Plate, but generally cause little or no damage.
Taiwan can experience more than 200 quakes each year, with several of them measuring 6 or even higher on the Richter scale. But on September 21, 1999, a quake measuring 7.3 on the Richter scale hit central Taiwan, killing 2,400 people and leaving some 10,000 others injured.