Weathering the Storms in Taiwan


During my first month in Taiwan, I experienced both a typhoon, a Pacific version of a hurricane, and an earthquake! First, the rains came, and then a week later, the grounds shook. Though these two natural disasters are quite different, both are common experiences for those who live in Taiwan. But since I did not grow up here, I am still learning how to prepare and respond to natural disasters like these.

What makes this environment special or different?:

Why does Taiwan get a lot of typhoons and earthquakes? Typhoons, which can be thought of as bringing heavy winds and rain, are common because Taiwan is an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The wind can then push the rain system onto the island for long periods at a time. Oftentimes, the typhoon does not actually make it to the island, but it will still rain for several days. During these rainy periods, my umbrella is not very useful; I am bound to get wet no matter what, so I have to prepare sandals and lightweight clothes that will dry quickly. As for earthquakes, Taiwan is very interesting in that it sits at the meeting point of two tectonic plates. When these plates, big pieces of solid rock that make up the earth, shift, Taiwan also moves. Sometimes an earthquake starts in one city, such as in Hualien, but can be felt throughout all parts of Taiwan!