The highway connecting Taitung's Changbin and Hualien's Yuli was sealed after cracks were found on the pavement. Shrimp farmers in Taitung also said they might sustain total losses of NT$ 2 million.
Numerous cracks have appeared on the road surface, and the damage extends for several meters. Earth and rocks have also slid down adjacent slopes, and trees have been toppled. This is the 32.5-kilometer mark of Yuchang Highway, which connects Taitung’s Changbin Township and Hualien’s Yuli Township. The damage was caused by the magnitude 6.6 earthquake on March 23. The entire road has been closed as a precautionary measure.
Reporter: “Do you know whether it’s usable right now?”Resident: “No, I don’t know right now.”
The highest intensity was recorded in Taitung. Many residents of Chenggong Township ran out into the streets when the quake struck, not wanting to risk staying inside. They were afraid there would be aftershocks.
Reporter: “Why aren’t you going inside to sleep?”Tourist: "I’m afraid."
The earthquake also caused chaos in stores, with bottles of alcohol and drinks that were neatly shelved smashing into the ground and breaking. Some shelves even toppled, and the quake also dislodged ceiling panels. Pipes were exposed, and lights remained connected just by wires. The situation was just as chaotic in another store, with broken bottles of alcohol spread out over the entire floor. Water pipes at residences also ruptured, causing water to leak and drip down from roofs. Toilets, sinks, and water heaters fell over.
At a shrimp farm, the quake ruptured water pipes, and 100,000 shrimps and one million shrimp fry flowed away with the water. The losses exceed NT$2 million.
Chen Chien-shen, Shrimp Farmer: “All the water flowed out, and the ponds are completely dry right now. All the shrimp flowed away with the water.”
At Donghe Fire Station, large cracks appeared in the wall and concrete chunks fell down, exposing the red bricks inside. The office and dorm had been undergoing renovations to make them more earthquake-resistant. The quake also warped an aluminum door used by on-duty firefighters, preventing it from opening. They had to tear it down. Pingtung County also reported incidents from the quake, including the tripping of a power substation feeder.
Resident: “I didn’t sleep at all. ( Reporter: "The entire night?" ) Yes. I was on alert, because I was afraid that it would trip again after Taipower fixed it. I monitored it for a long time, until morning.”
A power substation feeder tripped after the earthquake, cutting off power to 1,203 households. Taipower personnel rushed the repairs, and power has already been restored to all the households.