On Earthquakes

In light of the midwestern earthquake that was felt across many states this morning, I thought I would describe my first experience with earthquakes. My family had just moved to Taiwan in August, 1986. My late father, John, had a year sabbatical and chose to be a guest lecturer at Tunghai University in Taichung. I was but 11 at the time. My brother, sister, and I went to Morrison Christian Academy, where we met many pk’s and bk’s and mk’s.

One morning late in the Fall I woke up to find our bunk bed half way across the room and shaking something fierce. We lived in an upstairs apartment on campus. I kept saying to my brother, Matt, “Stop shaking the bed!” Except that when I looked, I saw he was already standing up by the door way saying, “Come on! Come on! It’s an earthquake!” This was about 5 a.m. if I recall correctly. Anyhow, we all went outside and waited the worst of it out, but felt aftershocks all day after that, even while sitting at school. The weirdest feeling is being in a car while the ground is shifting underneath you. Yikes. It turned out to be one of the worst quakes in Taiwan since 1920. You can read about it below.

Anyway, it also happened that the worst typhoon in many years hit us and caused a lot of damage. What a year for natural disasters!

An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.7 on the Richter scale occurred in the Taiwan area Friday, the U.S. Geological Survey said. It said the earthquake was centered near the east coast about 70 miles south of Taipei, the capital. Although no reports of damage or casualties were available, an rating of 7 is capable of causing widespread, heavy damage. The tremor, recorded at 4:20 p.m. EST, was the largest to occur in Taiwan since June 5, 1920…

Incidentally, I wonder if last night’s earthquake has anything to do with my complete loss of equilibrium this morning. Seriously, I felt like I was about to fall over in the shower! I didn’t feel a thing last night, but we could be too far west.


About Rev. Paul L. Beisel

Graduate of Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, IN in 2001 (M Div.) and 2004 (S.T.M.); LC-MS Pastor and Adjunct Instructor for John Wood Community College; Husband of Amy and father of Susan, Elizabeth, Martin, and Theodore.
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