On this date eighty seven years ago, a 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck Taiwan with its epicenter in the densely populated central Taiwan (then Taichung was labelled Shinchiku by the colonial Japanese authorities, with the epicenter village now located in Miaoli near Taichung).

It was the deatliest earthquake in recorded history in the country, claiming the lives of 3,276 and injuring more than 12,000 with more than 50,000 homes damaged or destroyed.

Some claim that well water boiled before the quake, a sign of geothermal disturbances foreshadowing the disaster.

The quake destroyed infrastructure across the island, and in the village of one of the 6.0 aftershock, a 3m drop appeared between the two sides of the faultline.

With the recent spate of medium sized earthquakes in Taiwan, including a 4.0 earthquake on April 4th centered in Kaohsiung, it is worth remembering the past and the tragedy of those who have lost their lives to such disasters, as well as the sanctity and preciousness of human life, and the lengths we should go to to preserve it.


Image sources:

Wikimedia commons (train tracks deformed by the earthquake)