1999 Chi-Chi earthquake

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Earthquake damage in Taichung county

Chi-Chi earthquake,[1] also known as the 921 earthquake,[2] was an earthquake in central Taiwan. The earthquake happened on September 21, 1999 at 1:47 am local time (September 20 17:47 GMT). It measured 7.3 on the Richter scale. The epicentre of the earthquake was at 23°52′N 120°45′E / 23.87°N 120.75°E / 23.87; 120.75 in Chichi Township of Nantou County, about 12.5 km west of the Sun Moon Lake. The depth of the epicenter was 7.0 km.

Damages[change | change source]

The earthquake caused much damageNational Fire Agency, Ministry of the Interior R.O.C. This damage included:

  • 2,416 people died or were never found
  • 11,441 people were badly hurt
  • US$9.2 billion worth of damage
  • 44,338 houses were completely destroyed
  • 41,336 houses were badly damaged

The earthquake continued to shake Taiwan throughout the night. People tell stories about a house that was not destroyed but moved by the earthquake from one county to another. The story says that because of this, the owners of the house had to change their address.

Chelungpu fault[change | change source]

The epicenter of the earthquake was Chichi Township. The 921 Earthquake happened along the Chelungpu fault line in western part of the island of Taiwan. The fault is located along the foothills of the Central Mountains in Nantou and Taichung counties. Some sections of land near the fault were changed in elevation by as much as 7 meters (23 feet). Near the northern end of the fault line, a 7-meter tall waterfall was created by the earthquake. In the middle-western part of the island, bridges were destroyed. This stopped traffic for weeks.

In Wufeng, a village in southern Taichung County, the damage was very bad. The village's Guangfu High School was located on the fault line. It was badly damaged by the quake. Today the high school is the site of the National Museum of Natural Science's 921 Earthquake Museum of Taiwan.

Notes[change | change source]

  1. Chi-Chi earthquake: Chinese: 集集大地震; pinyin: jíjí dàdìzhèn
  2. 921 earthquake: Chinese: 九二一大地震

Other websites[change | change source]