First, I’d like to wish everyone happy Chinese New Year or Spring Festival. Those of us in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan will be enjoying at least one week’s holiday. It has been unusually cold this year, in both China and Taiwan, with temperatures going below 10 in Taipei this weekend! This upcoming year, which begins Monday, February 8, will be the Year of the Monkey, and not surprisingly, people born in these years (2004, 1992, 1980, 1968) are supposed to be lively, mischievous and curious.
However, it won’t be a happy holiday for people in Tainan, Taiwan’s most historic city, which experienced a destructive earthquake early Saturday morning. Measuring in at 6.4 on the Richter scale, the quake caused several buildings to topple over including apartment buildings, and at least 8 are dead so far, with hundreds injured. Rescue attempts are still underway as of now (Saturday evening Taiwan time). Hopefully the death toll will not climb too much, as more people are still being rescued. The manner of the destruction of the buildings, some of which toppled over and saw upper levels crumble, raises questions about their construction. As it is, they aren’t that old and were possibly less than 30 years.