Typhoon Morakot

As I said, I had to leave the orientation in Taipei a day earlier than I had expected.  I didn't have an apartment or all of my things but still I had to go to Hualien to be picked up by someone I didn't know.  When I arrived all my fears disappeared because one of the sweetest people picked me up--Hsu fang.  I found out later that she would be one of my co-teachers for my English class. She arrived at the train station with her daughter, Cherry, to pick me up in the rain.  It was incredibly sweet.  She opened up her home to me for two days while we rode out the typhoon Morakot.

During this time I was completely unaware of the damage the typhoon was causing in some areas of the country.  Our electricity went out several times and I didn't understand the news because it is in Chinese.  In Hualien there was apparently some slight damage-fallen trees and scooters but nothing major.  Days later I learned that this typhoon was actually quite severe in other areas of the country.  I am so thankful to have been in a safe and dry place at Hsu fang's house.


Since I have been in Taiwan I am been in 4 earthquakes.  I had never been in an earthquake in my entire life until coming here.  The first two happened on the same day July, 25th when I was in Taichung.  I felt the third one on July 28th when I was in Hualien.  I was in a hotel room by myself and it really scared me.  The fourth one was on August 10th was really scary. It occured about 5am and the apartment building really shook compared to the first three. I put my pillow over my head and didn't sleep well for the rest of the night.  The next morning I checked with my roommate to make sure she was alright and she told me she was terrified and didn't sleep well either.  It was her first earthquake experience.  

My building is kind of old but people have tried to reassure me that it is strong.  My co-teacher told me after we moved in that I had a nice place but that I needed to prepare my heart because I stay on the 12th floor and there are many earthquakes in Hualien.  They are mostly small but they always give people an uneasy feeling.
Earthquake #5 August 17, 2009--it was small but it lasted about a minute.
Earthquake # 6 August 26, 2009.  Very small and brief.
Earthquake # 7 September 8, 2009--I didn't actually feel it.  I was standing and it was brief.
Earthquake #8 September 12, 2009.  Very small and brief. 
Central Weather Bureau--Great website to view Earthquake reports!!!!
Earthquake # 9 October 4--It was a big one, 6.3.  It scared me out of my bed at 1:36am.  Aaah!
Earthquake #10 October 4--Another one later that morning and it was pretty small.
Earthquake #11 October 4--Another teeny tiny one that afternoon.
Earthquake # 12 October 23--4:30am.  I was shook awake by a 5.0 earthquake. 
Earthquake #13 November 5--5:32pm.  It was a big one, 6.0.  First one I felt while being on the ground floor.  The scary part was that everything was swaying.  I expect that on the 12th floor of my apartment but not on the ground floor. 
Earthquake #14 November 5-- 9:21pm.  4.2.  I was out shopping for groceries when I felt this one.
Earthquake #15 November 6--3:25am. 4.4.  I was shook awake. 
Earthquake # 16 November 8--7:09pm.  4.8 I barely felt it. 
Earthquakes # 17 December 19-- 9:02pm.  6.8.  It was SO scary.  I was so terrified and I didn't know where to run and hide.  I was in Hualien city when it struck and everything I could see was moving and the ground beneath me shook so hard.  When my roommate and I arrived home there were firefighters at our apartment searching for a gas leak.  Of course, it took about 20 minutes for me and my roommate to understand anything that was going on so we stook in the lobby scared with out scooter helments on in case any other earthquakes hit.  ;)  In total for Dec. 19 there were 11 earthquakes.  I felt 3.
Earthquake # 18 December 20--10:12am.  4.9.  I feel like I have felt and seen the  worst so I expect that every time.  I am really afraid of eathquakes.  In total for Dec. 20 there have been 7 so far today. 
Earthquake # 19 January 5--3:27am.  5.5 Shook me awake but not enough to scare me.
Earthquake #20 January 13--6:14pm.  4.7.  My friends and I were out at this great Italian restaurant when the glasses on the table began to shake and then we noticed everything around us shaking as well.  It was a brief shake so everyone almost instantly said, "was that an earthquake?"  We also playfully argued about the possible size of the earthquake.  We are getting quite good at distinguishing the size of these crazy things. ;)
Earthquake #21 March 4--8:81am.  6.4  This was a pretty good one.  I was at school and my students were reading from their English passports.  The didn't notice a thing but I felt a good shake beneath me. 
Eathquake # 22 March 4--4:16pm.  5.7  Light one. 
Earthquake #23 June 15--1:17.  4.8.  This one was pretty scary becasue we hadn't had one in so long.  I jumped out of bed and rushed to the door.    It stopped before I could get to the front door.  Needless to say, I didn't sleep easily after the earthquake
Earthquake # 24 June 15--8:33.  5.6.  This one was pretty strong.  I was at school when it hit and that was really scary because all the kids screamed simultaneously and ran around like crazy people.  I was instantly terrified because I was still uncomfortable due to the recent, previous earthquake.  I had to flee to the bathroom to take a personal mintute and cry a little bit.  I'm embarrassed but I couldn't help feeling overwhelmed and helpless when I think my life is in danger.  I am not use to that feeling and I feel that it has worsened. I can't wait to be out of the danger of earthquakes. 
Earthquake #25 June 16--5:43.   4.1  This was a light one.
Earthquake #26 June 16--5:56.  4.0.  This one was also light. 
Earthquake #27 June 18--9:08.  This earthquake was a medium one. I was at a school sitting down in an auditorium while I was waiting to be recognized by the Hualien government for teaching in Taiwan.  While we were waiting to begin the whole building shook and everyone looked at their neighbor.  My friends looked at me first because they assumed I would be more afraid than everyone else.  ;)