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Earthquakes are a common, year-round occurrence in Taiwan, although most are small enough to go unnoticed. Due to the island's long history of quakes, most local buildings--from steel-reinforced concrete to steel-framed--are built to withstand even powerful earthquakes.

To prepare for earthquakes, general precautions should be taken around the house and office. These include securing bookcases and other tall furniture to walls with metal brackets, screws or studs; replacing cabinet door latches with safety latches that will not open during quakes; securing hanging fixtures; storing toxic and flammable materials in spill-proof, crush-proof containers on low shelves and/or locked cabinets; rand removing wheels or casters from heavy appliances like refrigerators, so that they will not move during quakes.

During an earthquake, it is best to stay where you are, as most injuries occur when people are leaving or entering buildings. Falling objects are a danger, particularly just outside exterior doorways and walls. If you are inside, stay inside unless there is a fire or you are advised to leave. It is best to open an exit door immediately, as doors are often jammed during quakes. Seek shelter under a sturdy piece of furniture, or stand in a doorway in a load-bearing wall (typically towards the interior of a building), not a partition wall. Main support pillars--also typically towards the interior--can also be good sources of protection. Shielding one's head with a pillow, coat or blanket is also a good idea. Take care to avoid windows, mirrors, glass objects, hanging lamps, bookcases, cabinets, heavy furniture and other items which may fall over, break and/or shatter during a quake.
If you evacuate your building, protect your head as you exit and watch for falling objects. In high-rise buildings, use stairs and not elevators, which may stop if the power is cut. Once outside, try to find an open space where you are clear of falling objects, utility poles, trees and other similar objects and structures. Be aware that aftershocks may occur after a main quake, anywhere from minutes to even days afterwards.

Regular earthquake information is available via the Central Weather Bureau website at: https://www.cwa.gov.tw/eng/. In the case of serious quakes, English news is usually available on the ICRT English radio station (FM 100.1 or AM 576).
  • Data update: 2024-01-11
  • Publish Date: 2010-01-18
  • Source: Fire Bureau
  • Hit Count: 3463
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