My first earthquake as a resident of Taiwan

It was quite unexpected and quite unsettling. First, there was a loud, deep “THUD.” Then the whole room started to shake. The table swayed to and fro, so the computer I was working on shuddered. The suddenness of the event only magnified it to my senses. It probably seemed 3 times as intense as it really was.

It was 1:30 in the morning local time in Sigang, and I was on the third floor chatting with friends and a business associate in the virtual world of Second Life when the mild earthquake struck. The episode lasted about 15 seconds. The mild tremors disappeared into the silence of the early morning as I looked over to my brother-in-law, eyes wide and mouth open. I was in disbelief, while he continued on his computer as if nothing happened.

“This happens all the time,” he said. He corrected himself, and told me that earthquakes could be felt about once a month. Many times it happens when you are sleep or while you are driving, so you often don’t notice them.

His words did not comfort me, and I spent the rest of the night feeling unsettled. This will definitely play a role on what type of home in Taiwan we choose in the future.

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