Around the island, part 1
      In the wire photos, Taiwan tends to look like either Hiroshima after the blast or a banana republic full of helpless peasants. Neither image is much like the real Taiwan.Taiwan has three huge, modern cities where some poorly built structures have collapsed and claimed hundreds of lives, but entire neighborhoods still stand nearly untouched.        Damage to smaller buildings is random, with older or cheaper buildings collapsing in the midst of dozens of unaffected houses. I hope these photos give a clearer picture of how things look to the average person in Taiwan right now. Although some towns in the mountains are totally devastated and many people can't return to damaged homes, most of Taiwan has seen only light damage.       It's still hard to tell how bad things might be in the central mountain areas. Aftershocks have pounded the area particularly hard. The coming rainy season may or may not lead to more landslides or collapses of weakened buildings. Many families have been terribly worried about  family and friends in these remote areas when communication lines were out. 
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