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Degenkolb EQ Reconnaissance Team: Day Four Last Day in Tainan City, Taiwan

The last day in Tainan City started with an M 4.9 earthquake and a following aftershock. During breakfast, we felt mild movement. After breakfast, we headed to a local hospital which had responded to the collapse of the Weikuan Jinlong building. They took a major role in providing a rescue team to the collapse site and provided medical care for around 100 injured people. We met the facility manager, Mr. Chen, and walked the hospital with him. We observed minor structural damange and were informed about non-structural damage but it was fully operational and crowded with patients. Fortunately, we had chance to hear from Dr. Cheng from the ER, who participated in the emergency medical team. He told us that the rescue efforts and medical support were provided per their standard emergency protocol and the patients from the incident did not overwhelm the patient care capability of the hospital. He stated the cooperation and coordination of the medical team at the hospital and the rescue team was key for saving lives. He also mentioned that the doctors who had been trained to make the right decisions and treatment at the rescue site were also reasons the rescue was successful. After we expressed our gratitude to Mr. Chen and Dr. Cheng with Ghirardelli Chocolates, we left for the next building.

There was a 24-story residential building that had minor structural damage. There were two towers connected by spandrel beams and they were damaged due to independent movement of the towers during the earthquake. After observation of the damages in the building we had a quick lunch at a local restaurant.      

We headed back to the National Cheng-Kung University, where we had started our journey in Tainan City, to debrief our findings to the local researchers and engineers. Daniel gave a presentation about our observation and lesson-learned from the reconnaissance. (He prepared the slides before the breakfast after his 6:30 am wake up call while others were still in the bed!)  Afterward, the locals and our team had a productive discussion about how public safety could be improved based on our lessons from this earthquake. The meeting was our last activity in Tainan and we returned to Taipei.

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Posted by onayarghandiwal on February 18, 2016 4:47 PM
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