News & Politics
"In a subtle way, you can shake the world."
― Mohandas Ghandi
― Mohandas Ghandi
Confusion Over the Emergency Alerts; What’s Happening?
Jocelyn Sung ‘18
Remember the mass panic that ensued when a false emergency alert notification warning people about an “incoming ballistic missile” was received by thousands of Hawaiians in January? You might have seen a few of the jarring videos over social media. There were people with tears welling up in their eyes as they wished their loved ones well, no matter what happened to them. There were adults helping kids no older than ten into sewage drains, hoping that doing so would protect them from a threat—unbeknownst to them at the time—that never existed.
This false alarm was later said to be the result of a human error. Over Twitter, Hawaii’s governor, David Ige, tweeted that he was meeting with “top officials of the State Department of Defense and the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency… to prevent it from happening again.”
While there haven’t been any more false alarms from Hawaii, people became a bit concerned on Tuesday after they heard that there was a tsunami alert.
This information wasn’t spread through the Wireless Emergency Alert like the Hawaii ballistic missile warning was; the National Weather Service claims that the message was only a test, “intended only to go to state warning points and certain other government agencies.” News and weather services noticed the test message, and they posted it to both their apps and social media.
People thought that this was a serious message and began calling the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), asking if there was a tsunami warning. The National Weather Service and other news channels began telling their followers over social media that this alert was simply a test message, and that there was never a tsunami threat for New England.
Some are wondering if this confusion is somehow related to the Hawaii missile alert, considering that the two events aren’t too far apart in time. Either way, it’s always better to be safer than sorry. If an immediate threat is posed to your safety, don’t think twice; seek immediate shelter.
Taiwan's Current Earthquake
Christina Maldonado '19
A powerful earthquake hit the east coast of Hualien Taiwan with a magnitude of 6.4 quake. This happened at 11:50 p.m. Tuesday. The earthquake was centered 14 miles northeast of the coastal city of Hualien. All of Taiwan could feel the shaking, but the most disastrous place that was Hualien, because there were walls collapsing and it left buildings at an “alarming” position.
Officials reported 62 people missing and 9 deaths. Most of the missing people were believed to be trapper in the 12 story Yun Men Tsui Ti Building. There had been an estimated amount of 196 people rescued from that building.
Hualien residents are used to earthquakes, but despite that, the region is well known for its beauty.
The people I interviewed did not experience a high magnitude earthquake, but I found their stories interesting and exciting. Everyone who has not experienced an earthquake probably could picture what the scene looks like, but I think these interviews will give a better picture of what it is. I interviewed Jocelyn Sung about her experience.
Maldonado: At what age did you experience the earthquake and where did it take place?
Sung: The most recent one I can remember happened when I was about twelve or thirteen in Menifee, California.
Maldonado: Could you describe the earthquake and tell whether it was intense or not?
Sung: A few people I've met think living in California is experiencing intense earthquakes more often than not, but I've actually slept through a majority of them because they're so tiny. (They happen at night more, or at least that's what I've experienced). This one was a bit stronger than others, which is why I woke up. I could see the picture frames trembling on the walls.
Maldonado: Do you recall the first thing you did and why you did so?
Sung: In all honesty, I was still trying to wake up. I remember sitting there and telling myself that it would probably be smart to crawl under the table, since that's what my teachers always reminded us to do in case of an earthquake. Before I could shake off the sleep enough to do so, it already ended
Maldonado: Have you encountered earthquakes before or after that one you've mentioned?
Sung: Yeah. I know I’ve experienced other earthquakes that I just slept through, but they all blend into each other after a while. Luckily, I haven’t had the misfortune to find myself in one of a large enough magnitude to cause some serious damage.
I also interviewed Zyla Layugan about her first time experiencing an earthquake.
Maldonado: At what age did you experience your first earthquake and where you aware of it?
Layugan: I experienced an earthquake when I was ten years old and living in the Philippines. I was aware that a volcano was erupting near, but I did not think that t would reach where I lived, because it was far.
Maldonado: Could you describe your reaction to the earthquake?
Layugan: I was astonished. My brother and I had to run to my mom, but I wasn’t scared.
Maldonado: Did you experience any more earthquakes after, and if so, was your reaction the same ?
Layugan: I have not experienced more than that one
Maldonado: How intense was the earthquake?
Layugan: It was not intense. However, the glasses in the cabinet was shaking and we could hear them moving.
The interviews were interesting, because I did not know these people had experienced an earthquake. If you know someone with an earthquake story, then you should ask about their experience.