The earthquake that I can remember to being my first earthquake experience in Taiwan, was the one that occurred on 04/11/2016 in Yi-Lan. I remembered being a spectator of an exposition delivered in my Corporate Law class, our class is given in the 9th floor of the TSMC building of NTHU, so as you can imagine we felt quite a shock during our class. The exposition was about the topic chosen for the final paper, so my classmate was really expressing herself during her presentation time, when all of the sudden we feel the shake in the classroom and some girls even giggled a little scream out of the anxiety of the moment. At the beginning of the event, you just think to yourself: “hey, It feels like someone is shaking the classroom!” it is later that you realize what is really happening, an earthquake.

For my particular case, I have already read before coming to Taiwan, that the country experienced constant earthquakes during each year, so I just stayed in my sit waiting for the earthquake to eventually pass out, I think I remember giving a small “Calm down”, so that people could relax as the earthquake was not that powerful as the one that happened in early February in Tainan (I was out in Malaysia when that earthquake happened, so I just read the news about its devastation). When it finished, I immediately reached my phone just to check on my fiancé (as she is also in Taiwan, but studying in NCCU, Taipei), to my surprise she had already sent me a text message just mentioning: “I felt the floor moving, are you all right?” I responded to her text message for the status update. My roommate also messaged to check what was going on, of course, I also answered his text. This earthquake also enlightened me in how my classmates react to ‘ground-moving’ experiences, as stated before some got anxious, others starred to their closest classmate to assess the fact that an earthquake was actually happening, others just had a nervous smile on their faces, even the professor smiled a bit. I don’t remember seeing anyone trying to escape from the class, which would have been a good story though, something hilarious for our memories. Eventually, after everything calmed down the presentation continued as normal, but our curiosity was now triggered to find the epicenter of this tectonic movement, just after 2 or 3 minutes, we got the information, it happened in Yi-Lan. This fact was important to many of my fellow classmates and to me as we were having our ICDF cultural trip on 04/16 in Yi-Lan, what a coincidence. Some, of my classmates had thoughts about the after-shocks, “what if one of those happened during our cultural-trip?”, but at the end the trip went smoothly and by the numbers, a really great experience by the way.

As a conclusion, I would like to state that this was not my first earthquake experience, we have had some strong earthquakes in Honduras, some powerful enough to take a concrete bridge down, I also believe that this will not be my last earthquake, as there has been other earthquakes in Taiwan since this one in Yi-Lan. I think I felt this way about the earthquake because of my personality, I like to propose solutions to the issues in my environment, and in an earthquake event (something totally out of my control) the best thing to do (I think) is to calm down, and if it is really strong then seek for a safe spot.