An eventful trip to the south
(from main page) 

...of moving her parents ashes together into the same mausoleum in Taichung. It was her father's last request. 
      My brother, who works for Intel, had been in Taipei for an Intel trade show. After several days there, the three of us headed south to Taichung to attend the brief reinternment ceremony. Next we were off to vacation near Carol's hometown in the central mountains. 
     Our timing, it seems, was not so good.

Taichung is a city of several million people. Some neighborhoods and highrises were severely damaged in the quake and there were many deaths in the Taichung area. The collapsed highrise on the left of page 6 was in downtown Taichung. We drove past it on the way back; there appeared to be no one trapped inside.

The tiny town of JiJi was the exact epicenter of the quake. JiJi was badly damaged, but not as badly as some nearby towns. Just a few miles away, the city of Nantou suffered especially heavy casualties.

PuLi was probably the worst hit town in all Taiwan. To us it seemed about the size of Gresham when we passed through on the afternoon before the quake. We had lunch there while waiting for a bus to WuShe. After the quake, we heard at least 500 or 600 buildings were completely demolished and the dead were in the hundreds, with thousands either trapped or missing. In the following days PuLi had no water, electricity, or phone service and the roads were completely destroyed. We heard they were desperate for ice, to store blood supplies and preserve bodies. 

WuShe is my sister-in-law Carol Gwo's home town. It's a very tiny, very remote, very beautiful town in the middle of a reservation area for indigenous Taiwanese tribes. It doesn't seem to have suffered too much in the quake.

KuoShin is a remote  mountain village that survived the big quake only to be buried by a heavy aftershock a few days later. In a town of a few hundred, only about 50 people were thought to have survived the landslides.

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