Yesterday night at 6.20 I suddenly felt my body started shaking.
I tore of my headphones and looked around me in the library. Everything looked normal, but it didn’t feel normal. It was not only me what was shaking. I stared with shock at my classmate next to me. Earthquake?
I grew up in a part of the world with no earthquakes. I lived my life on ground so stable often forget that things like this even exists. But now the entire building was rocking around us.
No one was running. No one was hiding. The Taiwanese students around us were simply sitting, looking up from their books. They did not look particularly afraid. What I noticed most of all was how the building sounded. The building materials over and around us was sighting and making sounds, like when you are rowing an old boat. The bookshelves, the giant windows – everything was shaking.
Modern buildings are constructed to wobble with the conformations of the ground, instead of standing stiff and risk breaking. As we were sitting on the fifth floor (of the Tsinghua University Library) the shaking was amplified compared to being on ground floor.
After maybe 15 seconds everything was over and the house became still again. I realized I was clinging to my friend’s arm with both hands. The Taiwanese students looked around a little bit before they started to study again. Someone walked past us reading a book. Like if nothing had happened at all. Well, that was it. My first earthquake.
The Central Weather Bureau reported that the magnitude of the eruption was 6.0 at epicenter, and that it stroke under the Taiwanese East Coast. In Hsinchu city the magnitude was around 2 on the richer scale –Wikipedia defines it as an eruption that is felt but not harmful for buildings.
(Picture repost from Instagram)