My name is Jose Elias Barahona Diaz. I am current master’s student in the major of construction management of the National Cheng Kung University. I was born in June 17 of 1992 in the city of Tegucigalpa, which is the capital of Honduras, a very beautiful country located in Central America. As a background of the subject, Honduras is a country not continuously being affected by natural disasters such as earthquakes. The frequency and the intensity of the earthquakes striking Honduras are less severe than those affecting Taiwan’s territory. The natural disasters occurring more frequently in Honduras are the hydrological disasters, such as hurricanes and floods.

The 6.4 magnitude in the Richter Scale earthquake occurred in February 6, 2016, which epicenter was located in Tainan City, the city where I currently live, was the most shocking and frightening experience I have ever had with this type of natural disaster. Previously I had felt some small tremors back in my country and also here in Taiwan but nothing compared to the magnitude and duration of this earthquake. Beside the fact of never being accustomed to earthquakes, I live in the 14th floor of my dorm building, which resulted in the increase of the building oscillations.  

The earthquake occurred in the early morning of February 6, at 3:56 am. Happening at this hour was completely nerve-racking due to the fact of being woke up because the entire dormitory was shaking from side to side and all my belongings were falling to the ground, beside these the emergency lights from every room were on, the electricity of the whole building was off and the door were opens. The earthquake lasted approximately one and a half minutes which seemed to be everlasting with all the fright, surprise and concern I was feeling in that moment. My immediate reaction after I woke up and realized I was in the middle of a horrifying earthquake was to crouch to the corner of a wall, knowing that in worst case scenario in the corner of every wall a well-known triangle of life can possibly save your life in a disaster of this magnitude.  

The minutes just after the earthquake had finished I was still crouching in the corner the wall listening to all the ambulance sirens, waiting for something to happen inside the building and afterwards watching through my window if there was any activity outside on the streets. When I noticed everything was fine, I started to organize my belongings in my room and tried to text my friends and acquaintances also living in Tainan to make sure they were safe and ask them what they had felt. Everyone had a different story of the earthquake regarding on where they live, the type of building, the floor the live in and their actions during and after the earthquake.

I realized I had to inform my family about what had just happened to me, to make sure they do not worry too much about my safety, so I informed them everything of what just happened and they were very relieved that nothing serious happened to me or any of my friends. Hours after the earthquake the news online were everywhere, making me understand how serious the earthquake was by knowing that some buildings have been turn down to the ground. Some days after the earthquake two of my friends could not believe it was true so we went to visit the site where one the building had fell down.

An earthquake of this magnitude would had caused catastrophic effects in a country like Honduras, which in contrast with Taiwan does not possess strict construction standards and regulations for infrastructure to mitigate earthquakes disasters. Beside this Taiwan also has a notorious awareness in the population to this types of disasters and the continuous research and development of mitigation systems and programs.