Friday, March 11, 2011

Taiwan tsunami warning: We are safe!

3/11/2011 Taiwan Explorer
I'm currently in Taipei, Taiwan, watching the news. Latest updates on top!

LATEST UPDATE: Taiwan is safe to visit! No tsunami here. The food is fine!

Nobody here worries about radiated food, please don't panic. Food is holy for Taiwanese and if any serious radiation would've been found, it would've been reported already. If they find a small thing, that doesn't mean food is unsafe here. Please don't worry about food, radiation and tsunamis. Taiwan is 2200 km away from Fukushima, that's almost twice as far as Chernobyl and Central Europe. Come to Taiwan and enjoy your holidays. We're safe here!

12. UPDATE: Really the last update, Taipei 12.01 pm local time

This will really be my last update. It's now Tuesday, 4 days after the Japan quake and tsunami and I want to make it clear for everyone: Taiwan is safe. Traveling to Taiwan or Taipei is very safe. We had no quake, no tsunami, no damage, nothing: We were lucky. Whatever you planned for your Taiwan trip, go ahead, everything's fine. It's Tuesday now, the weather is cloud in Taipei, around 15 degrees maybe. The coming Friday will be sunny, the rest of the days may be cloud or even rainy. The only thing you need to prepare may be an umbrella. Everything's running smoothly in Taipei, so please don't have any worries. We were not hit, thank god. But we keep getting scary images from Japan and of course that worries us. But nobody has any fears of things like this happening to Taiwan these days. We do worry about quakes, but they're usually of lesser magnitude. And the worst evil are typhoons here, but they come in late summer and autumn, so please again: Don't worry. Taiwan is safe. Hong Kong is safe, Malaysia is safe. This was a Japanese tragedy and we should only think about how to help Japan to rebuild their country. My hearts goes out to them.

11. UPDATE: The next day, Taipei 11.10 am local time

Today is Saturday, March 12, one day after the epic earthquake and a devastating tsunami in Japan. Taiwan was lucky and hasn't sustained any damage, the tsunami warning turned out to be false, only 15cm "big" waves hit the northern coast. Taipei seems to be a little foggy this morning, but it's not so cold. The rain stopped and I'm happy about that. Let me make this clear: Everybody in Taiwan is ok and traveling here is totally safe. So please, no worries, no panic, no fears: We're fine here. Wish everybody a lovely day.

10. UPDATE: We're fine, Taipei 19.24 local time

I can now say with most certainty that Taiwan has avoided a tsunami. I've seen on TV, how the authorities released some fishermen from Keelung, who were priorly evacuated. Life's getting back to normal here and that's obvious when you switch on the TV: All the news channels are now only reporting on Japan. Taiwan was very lucky this time, probably because of the location. It's located too far to the West and somewhat covered by Okinawa and other islets in the region. We dodged a bullet today, that's for sure, but it's always good to be prepared for the worst and not take these things lightly. We've seen what the tsunami did to some parts of Japan and and that was pretty scary. Taiwan is safe and everybody should sleep well tonight. I may update again tomorrow for those who plan to travel to Taiwan and want to be updated on the situation here.

9. UPDATE: Everything looks fine, Taipei 18.43 local time

Thank you everybody for your kind comments. From what I've seen on Taiwanese TV just now, there won't be any tsunami hitting Taiwan, people are safe. If you have love ones here, don't worry. All that happened were some high waves, that's all: No real tsunami here, no casualties, no major damage. I won't update as often now, but in case something very unexpected happens, I will update again (although I feel that's very unlikely). Thank you for following my updates and I'm very happy that Taiwan and all the people here are safe and sound. I hope the rest of the Pacific area will be safe as well. Thanks again. It was a pleasure to help you.

8. UPDATE: Still waiting, Taipei 18.24 local time

One whole hour has passed now and still nothing happened in Taiwan. The media is only reporting on Japan, but there are no official statements saying that the tsunami threat has passed and that Taiwan is safe. I do feel that it's unlikely that Taiwan will be heavily hit, but I am not sure, only speculating. I hope we don't get a very unpleasant surprise. More updates from me soon.

6. UPDATE: Still waiting, Taipei 18.24 local time

Some said it's possible that Taiwan has avoided a massive tsunami due to the location (by Cindy Sui). The internet is incredibly slow around this time, I guess many people are curious about what's going on. I'm watching Taiwanese news and they only report about Japan now, no reports about Taiwanese coastal cities. So I guess there won't be anything major happening here. I have no proof for that, but because the experts said the tsunami should've hit Taiwan over 30min ago, however nothing happened, I feel a little less anxious now. Still feel sad for people in Japan.

5. UPDATE: Still waiting, Taipei 18.04 local time

Still waiting for the tsunami to arrive Taiwan. I guess the estimate was not accurate. If there are any changes and something big happens, I will update again. It's getting dark now in Taipei, the weather is cold and rainy, like for many days now. It may be a little hard to see the waves coming now.

4. UPDATE: There will be no tsunami in Taipei, Taipei 17.51 local time

Waiting for the tsunami to hit Taiwan at any time now. I've heard the waves are arriving at the coast of Taiwan right now and they're smaller than expected (maybe 15cm to 1m), according to Anthony Chen, ETTV Journalist. Let's hope for the best.

3. UPDATE: There will be no tsunami in Taipei, Taipei 17.24 local time

There is no tsunami expected in Taipei! No tsunami warnings for Taipei! Taipei should be safe. Tsunami may hit Keelung, Hualien and other parts on the eastern coast within 10 minutes! Tsunami is estimated to hit Taiwan at 17.40 local time (9.40 GMT London Time)!

2. UPDATE: Taiwan tsunami maps and predictions, Taipei 15.53 local time

Here are some maps for your reference. As you can see it's very hard to predict which exact areas of Taiwan might be hit. I think Taipei is generally safe, because it's not close to the sea and surrounded by mountains. For more predictions, scroll down:

Show bigger map

As you can see, the west coast including Taipei, Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung should be safe, but places on the north and east like Keelung, Yilan, Luodong, Hualien, Changbin, Chenggong, Donghe, Taitung and parts of Kenting national park, as well as Guishan Island, Green Island and Orchid Island should be hit by the tsunami. We don't know for sure and I don't want to spread panic, but please be careful, if you're in one of these places. Don't go near the beach in the upcoming hours. Better stay in upper floors or go to mountainous areas.

1. UPDATE: Taiwan will be hit by the tsunami, Taipei 15.09 local time

Japan's been hit by an 8.9 earthquake 1 hour ago, which is a huge magnitude. And now I'm watching the tsunami erasing everything on its way in parts of Japan's east coast. It's frightening. The water is unstoppable. And I've heard Taiwan might be hit by the tsunami as well (via Taiwan Central Weather Bureau), it's estimated that it will arrive at 17.30 local time around Taiwan's northern and eastern coast. That's in about 2 hours.

If you're in Keelung 基隆 (tsunami estimated to hit at 17.32), Yilan 宜蘭, Hualien 花蓮 or Taitung 台東 (tsunami estimated to hit 17.36), possibly Kenting (I'm not sure), please go away from the coast as further as possible. I think Taipei, Hsinchu, Taoyuan, Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung should be fine. I can't be sure (I'm just guessing), but I think there is no reason to panic on the western part of Taiwan. The eastern part however should prepare well! I hope the authorities are monitoring the situation and are prepared for possible evacuations and immediate help. I will update this post, in case there are some further developments.