The strong 6.6 magnitude earthquake during the early morning of March 23 has damaged many schools. According to the Ministry of Education, 155 schools were affected to different degrees by the earthquake as of 3:00 p.m. on March 23, with losses surpassing NT$35 million. Of which 13 were in Miaoli, and the retaining wall of Touwu Elementary School was the most severely damaged. In addition, a 120-year-old historical residence in Kaohsiung was also damaged by the quake.
The retaining wall has many obvious cracks and parts of it are tilting. The school quickly posted a warning notice not to approach for safety concerns. The retaining wall on the north side of Miaoli's Towu Elementary School is suspected of being damaged by the strong earthquake in the early morning of the 23rd, and the problem is getting worse.
Hsieh Fu-chun, Principal, Touwu Elementary School, Miaoli: “It was supposed to be straight. But this side has collapsed and is leaning outwards.”
According to the Ministry of Education statistics, 155 schools in Taiwan reported damages from the strong earthquake on the 23rd, totaling more than NT$35 million. Among them, 13 were in Miaoli, and Touwu Elementary School suffered the heaviest damage. Miaoli's Education Department said that it has launched a reporting system for repairs.
Hsu Chien-nan, Deputy Director, Education Department, Miaoli County: “We have asked other schools to isolate damaged areas first for safety reasons. We will fix the damages as soon as possible after we receive funding subsidies from the central government.”
There are also reports that many schools in Kaohsiung were also affected. According to statistics from the Kaohsiung City Education Bureau, 20 schools reported damages that totaled about NT$4.6 million. The most serious is Chunghsiao Elementary School in Fengshan District. The school has already cordoned off the damaged school building. There were no safety concerns for the time being since teachers and students were assigned to other classrooms.
Tang Wei-cheng, Principal, Chunghsiao Elementary School, Kaohsiung: “We found some cracks during building inspections last year. The 323 earthquake just made these cracks bigger.”
This European style building in Kaohsiung's Zihguan District has a history of 120 years. The building was suspected of being damaged by the earthquake on the 23rd and rain in the past few days. Not only did its lintel collapse, but the building's outer walls also became a pile of rubble.
Liu Ying-kai, Chihhsi Borough Chief, Zihguan District, Kaohsiung: “We'll clear these bricks first. And then we'll talk to the owner to discuss what to do next.”
The European style building is the former residence of local businessman Liu Te-bo. It is the first two-story Baroque building in the area and has historical significance. Experts will further evaluate how to repair the building in the future.