My home country, Taiwan, is a beautiful island located on the Ring of Fire which is an area where a huge numbers of earthquakes occur on the basin of the Pacific Ocean. About eighty percent of the most severe earthquakes happen along with the Ring of Fire. This is the possible reason why we would hold the annual training for earthquake damage prevention in all schools. In addition, Taiwanese like to use the term – the earth bull flipping over - to describe the force of severe earthquakes. This is a fairly vivid description if the bull is as gigantic as a dinosaur in Jurassic Period.
According to a prestigious geologic study, the bull could flip over every 100-year. The last time it flipped which caused a considerable damage occurred about 60 years ago. This is a strong proof that I am in the club of the earth bull flipping over.
I was at the 12th grade and living in the dormitory with five roommates. It was September and every student at 12th grade was preparing for the university entrance exam. The weather was getting colder at night. As usual, I studied and went to bed at 1 a.m. It did not take too long for me to be in deep sleep because I had had less than five sleeping hours for couple months.
Suddenly, I felt someone was heavily shaking my bed. The first image came to my mind was Lily who is the most outgoing girl in our room. Of course, I badmouthed her, in my mind. However, she simply did not let go of my bed which really irritated me to have to shout out:” what’s wrong with you!” I opened my eyes and found that not only my bed but the entire room was shaking! Thanks to all the earthquake damage prevention trainings, I knew immediately this was an earthquake. Certainly, I did not recall that I am in the club. So, I sat up with serenity and looked around with silence. My roommates were getting off their bed with terrible scare. Thanks to all the “baby” earthquakes I have experienced, I could keep my elegance while my roommates were wearing tears in their eyes. However, my elegance was trampled by a serious horizontal shaking. I instantly slipped down under the frame of bed. In that moment, I realize that my potential had been upgraded for at least 3 levels. My roommates also shoved themselves down under the bed frames and we held our breath for seconds. Another serious shaking stroke and all of us gave the piercing scream. I started whispering something to the God, hoping the God could save me this time and I will take the God as my mentor for the rest of my life. I guess the praying was not working because we faced more and more vigorous shaking, and we decided to leave the dormitory.
Under this kind of emergency, what would you take before you abandon your house? This is a good question and I would suggest everyone make decision now in advance of any crisis. Most of my roommates got their purse and cell phone, or a jacket, but I got only a pillow with me. Once more, thanks for those trainings, I got a pillow instead of the practical purse with money or cell phone with connections. On the way to the stadium, I was the only person put a pillow on my head.
The stadium was crowded with many students and some school administrators, snuggling together for warmth. Many people were using the cell phone to contact with their family, but the connection became annoying when almost all people around this island were using the cell phone about at the same time. I could not help but thinking that took a pillow was a quite clever idea when I found that cell phone was out of service like this.
After staying outside at the stadium for one night, my dad came and took me home. This time I took almost everything, such as my laptop and some nice clothes, except for my pillow. After all, I have one at my home.
I was grateful that my house was still standing there almost intact and so do my neighbors. However, the central earthquake area, where is a city next to ours, was not like my…