Recovery and cleanup operations were ongoing today after a 6.8 magnitude earthquake hit Taitung. The epicenter was in Chishang Township, 42.7 kilometers from Taitung County Hall. The quake damaged access roads and schools while shifting walls and drainage ditches.
This road, which connects Chishang Township's Qingfeng Village and Dapo Village to the outside world, was heavily damaged by the earthquake. The country road is used by around 150 people every day. The road is not useable right now with cracks that are 10 centimeters wide and close to 30 centimeters deep.
The township office says it will repair higher-use roads first. The earthquakes not only damaged local roads, but shifted one drainage ditch 10 centimeters. Tapo Elementary School sustained major structural damage, with ceilings collapsing and staircases shifting. School equipment was also damaged and some doors can't be opened. Classes were suspended on the 19th, but many teachers headed to the school to help clean up.
Huang Pei-chun, Principal, Tapo Elementary School: “Classroom cabinets fell down, damaging computers and monitors. Our kindergarten also sustained a great deal of structural damage, but we feel lucky yesterday was a Sunday (and no one was around).”
This playground slide, which happens to sit on the boundary of the Philippine Sea Plate and Eurasian Plate, moves every time there is an earthquake.
Hsu Huang-jung, Member, Chihshang Cultural Explanation Association: “You can't really tell. (You can't tell?) We have to wait for the experts.”
One local guide says the slide doesn't seem to have moved much this time but its movement will be assessed by experts. Aftershocks are hitting the area hard, with teachers rushing out of classrooms every time one hits to avoid being hit by falling objects.