If you recall one of my posts from our first week in Taiwan, we visited Shih-Gang dam which was damaged in an earthquake. The earthquake was one of the biggest to occur in Taiwan and we have heard of it frequently on our trip as it changed the lives and landscape of the country forever.
Here it is known as 921, as it occurred on September 21, 1999 at 1:47 am. The quake registered 7.3 on the Richter scale destroying over 50,000 buildings, railways and other infrastructure totaling $10 billion USD in damages. There were over 11,000 people injured and 2,415 lives lost.
One area of the fault line opened up directly under a school, that has now become the museum with much of the destruction preserved. The museum is a great facility with many hands on activities that get children engaged in learning. How and why earthquakes occur is demonstrated. There are building blocks and models to understand the science that goes into construction with floating foundations and structural support. There is even the earthquake experience which is a movie going through the events of 9/21 while you sit on a vibrating and quaking floor.
The museum is a great memorial to remember those who were lost and to educate the next generations about a danger that is ways present in Taiwan. To see the destruction captured in time is a sobering reminder of the power of nature that is out of our control.