Touching stories emerge in the aftermath of Taiwan's tragic earthquake
This year's lunar new year has cast sadness over festivities as an earthquake struck southern Taiwan on Saturday, February 6, leading to toppled buildings and many people missing in the city of Tainan. As the search and rescue operation continues, there are a few poignant and touching stories that are worth mentioning, as we share in the joy of finding survivors and the grief for the losses.
The disaster struck in the wee hours on early Saturday morning, when most people were sleeping at home. It was the weekend before February 8, the beginning of spring festival for the Lunar New Year. There were also extra family members visiting from far away to gather for the traditional family reunion to celebrate the new year. Many of the residents were families with young children and students.
Taiwanese people are more or less accustomed to the occasional shakes from the average of 700 earthquakes a year occurring in Taiwan because Taiwan is situated in the "Ring of Fire," where there is a large amount of earthquake and volcano activity in the Pacific Ocean. However, this particular earthquake with the epicenter near Kaohsiung has actually caused the most damage in the city of Tainan, where buildings have toppled with grave impact. The worst case is the 17-story building that collapsed in a heap.
Rescue operations immediately started, with the firemen and rescue workers along with volunteers working day and night to find residents buried in the concrete rubble. So far, according to the latest report, there are still over 100 people missing and 41 confirmed dead.
From among the survivors, we've heard some really poignant and touching stories. One is about the man who immediately jumped up and covered up his wife of 30 years with his own body as their home tumbled and crashed onto them. He died, but she survived.
A cat stayed by her young owner, and her meows led rescuers to find them both. A rescue dog hurt his paw and had to be carried down, but he went right back to his perilous job after being bandaged. Rescuers skipped their own New Year's Eve family dinners and took brief breaks on the cold grounds nearby. Their refusal to stop yielded the rescue of an 8-year-old girl who was trapped for 61 hours.
A man tearfully recalled his mother who died in the building collapse. He pledged to change his bad temper and regretted that he didn't have a chance to say "I love you" to his mother. Another man was rescued after being buried for 56 hours. He'll lose his left foot, but he is alive.
Life's unexpected changes can come so suddenly. Although we wish and hope for positive changes, sometimes the change brings tragedy and tears.
It simply reminds us that our time on Earth is limited and life can be cut short unexpectedly. When you get up in the morning and go home at night, remember to give a hug and tell your loved ones how much you care for and appreciate them. Live every day to the fullest and give joy whenever you can.
We would like to express our sincere condolences to the earthquake victims and their loved ones. We also continue to hope that more survivors will be saved.
(Photo credit as referenced or tagged)