921 Earthquake Museum of Taiwan


Taiwanese and international newscasts reporting the deadly quake

At 1:47 in the early morning of September 21, 1999, Taiwan was struck by its most devastating earthquake in over a century. The massive 7.3 magnitude earthquake killed 2,415 persons, left 29 still missing, injured 11,305, completely destroyed 44,338 houses while severely damaging another 41,336, and caused NT$300 billion in property damages.


The 921 Earthquake occurred along the Chelungpu Fault [車籠埔斷層]. Taiwan’s western plains form the western edge of this fault, the western foothills mark the eastern edge of the fault. Some sections of the fault raised the land 7 meters [23 feet] as a result of the earthquake.

The 921 Earthquake Museum of Taiwan [921地震教育園區] is located at the site of the destroyed Guangfu Junior High School [光復國中] in Wufong Township [霧峰鄉]. The museum is an excellent visit for anyone interested in seismology or Taiwan’s history. There are plenty of interactive displays and most are in Chinese, English, and Japanese.


The Chelongpu Fault Preservation Hall contains models of tectonic plates and the earth’s internal structure. Below is a photograph from the hall showing damage from the earthquake to an area bridge:

Museum Photo

Guangfu Junior High was selected as the site of this memorial museum because its track captured the fault movement:

Museum Photo

Aerial photograph shortly after the earthquake

Museum Photo

The track was elevated 2.5 meters [8.2 feet] as a result


The Earthquake Engineering Hall contains several interactive displays concerning earthquake resistance technology and public safety:


The model below shows how different vibration resistance technologies respond to earthquakes. The building with the ball hanging in it models an active mass damper, which is the system used in Taipei 101:


The preserved buildings at the museum use steal beams or acrylic walls like those pictured below to prevent further collapse:



Below are two pictures of the collapsed North Classroom Building. Had this earthquake occurred at a time when students were at school, several times more children would have perished because of the many schools that either completely or partially collapsed during the earthquake.


The museum also contains information on reconstruction efforts and revival of local communities. There is also a room which simulates the intensity of the 921 Earthquake.


13 thoughts on “921 Earthquake Museum of Taiwan

  1. Looks like a fascinating place. The lift on the track is amazing, though in a really scary way… On an unrelated note, where was your banner photo taken? It looks beautiful.

  2. I am from Taipei, TAIWAN.
    I won’t forget that moment which shake the nation and shake the people’s heart on the island.
    I love my country – T.A.I.W.A.I (臺灣)

    love n’ World Peace !!

  3. Thank you for stopping by Lurance. Visiting this museum was a truly moving experience for me.

    This year is the 10th anniversary of the disaster, I hope buildings have been built to strict code since this horrific earthquake.

  4. Pingback: Cycling the 147 and the 131 « The Daily Bubble Tea

  5. Pingback: Destruction and Beauty | The Daily Bubble Tea

  6. Pingback: 11 days in Taiwan: Getting to 921 Earthquake Museum on day four | Eunice Tan

  7. Pingback: 921 Earthquake Museum of Taiwan – The Silk Road Story

Leave a Reply to beeberoni Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s