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Taiwan earthquake
Taiwan earthquake

Date: 21 September 1999, Pu-li
Dead: 2025 Injured: 8565
Affected: 100,000

What happened: The quake, which measured about 7.6 on the Richter scale, struck close to the city of Taichung, toppling 13,000 high- rise apartments. More than 1,000 aftershocks were recorded in the next nine hours.

Response: There were immediate offers of aid. International rescue workers started pouring in the next day. An elite US search team flew in with sniffer dogs. Other experts were sent from Europe, Japan, South Korea and Singapore. Trapped people used mobile phones to request help.

Verdict: Although Taiwan is wealthy and well-organised, international rescuers were shocked at the lack of standard high-tech search equipment and co-ordination.

Media coverage: Extensive. People used the internet to trace friends and family.