921 Earthquake Museum
Wu-fang Travel Blog› entry 28 of 31 › view all entries
One of the things I really wanted to do when I got to Taiwan was to see the 921 Earthquake museum in central Taiwan. It's located at a junior high school that sustained major damage in the 09/21/1999 7.6 earthquake. The junior high school ended up being located directly on the fault line that caused this massive quake. Many people died and thousands were left homeless after this tragedy. I saw something online about the museum and even heard there was a simulator that "recreated" the 7.6 quake itself. Being from California and living through a number of quakes, the worst being the 1994 Northridge one, I was very interested to see this first hand.
The drive was about 2 hours from Taipei but we did not get to see too much since it was very cloudy and overcast.
Turns out though, no rain fell while we were at the museum, so it was perfect...except for the excessive heat and humidity! LOL. We saw some incredible remnants from the massive quake, including some of the collapsed classrooms. There were a number of pictures displayed in the museum of the damage nearby.
The line for the earthquake simulator was insane but we stuck it out and managed to make it in the 3rd group of 25 to be let in. They made a mock classroom and we sat on the floor watching a film about the quake as the room shook as it would in a 7.6 earthquake. WOW....it was so much worse than the 6.7 Northridge quake I experienced. Granted, we would've been at the epicenter on this one and I was about 30 miles away in the Northridge one but it was unreal.
After leaving the simulator, we toured a couple halls about earthquake prevention and what they are doing now to help ensure the tall buildings here don't fall victim to another quake of that magnitude. It was a very interesting experience and awesome that they had everything in English as well!