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Emergency Response to Earthquake in Taiwan following the 921 Disaster


Apr 3, 2024

The earthquake that occurred in 1999 took the lives of over 2,400 people in Taiwan, prompting the country to change its construction regulations and focus on strengthening buildings against vibrations. The 7.4 magnitude earthquake had its epicenter to the east of Taiwan island, off the coast of Hualien district. This was the strongest earthquake on the island in 25 years, following the devastating 7.6 magnitude earthquake in 1999 that killed thousands.

Despite the magnitude of the earthquake, many high-rise buildings in Taiwan only tilted rather than completely collapsing. Following the 1999 earthquake, Taiwan was recognized as one of the 10 most earthquake-prone countries in the world. The country experienced smaller earthquakes with fewer casualties after 1999, but authorities learned valuable lessons from the disaster and have since taken measures to prevent damage in future seismic events.

In response to the earthquake in 1999, Taiwan implemented new regulations on high-rise building construction. This included quality control, earthquake resistance assessment, and building reinforcement measures. The government reclassified earthquake zones with updated data and introduced regulations to strengthen buildings in strong earthquake zones. Additionally, a structural reinforcement plan was initiated for vulnerable buildings to enhance their earthquake resistance.

Despite the challenges, Taiwan has made significant technological advancements in earthquake prediction. By integrating monitoring equipment with other technology, the country can quickly estimate the impact of seismic waves and issue warnings to the public. The development of an automatic system to determine earthquake location within seconds has greatly improved the country’s ability to respond to seismic events.

With ongoing research and advancements in earthquake prediction technology, Taiwan is at the forefront of seismic monitoring and response. The country continues to invest in improving its infrastructure and building resilience to minimize the impact of earthquakes on its population. Through a combination of regulations, reinforcement measures, and technological developments, Taiwan is working towards creating a safer environment for its residents in the face of seismic events.

By editor

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