The tiny island nation of Taiwan was struck by an earthquake in the early hours of Saturday morning, sending the eastern sovereign state into a frenzy of activity.
According to CNN, the Taiwan earthquake has already left more than 14 people dead and 475 injured, and more people are expected to be trapped under the debris. The 6.4-magnitude earthquake, although not very intense, nonetheless caused immense damage to many parts of the country, toppling buildings, changing the course of streams, and sending the Taiwanese people scampering out of their homes in the middle of the night.
As international bureaucratic circles discuss the support that needs to be extended to the people in Taiwan, the internet has tried to do its own fair share by bringing the plight of the Taiwanese people to the fore. Soon after the news of Taiwan being struck by an earthquake emerged online, social media was awash with pictures of the tragedy, not only underlining the plight of the people caught in the act of nature, but also emphasizing that internet is a space which encourages a free dissemination of information — and by consequence — sends help where it is required.
These five photos, all brought to you thanks to the remarkable reach of social media, perfectly sum up the plight, and the fight, of the Taiwanese people.
The Collapsing Building Photo
This dramatic picture of a building on the verge of completely collapsing and falling over on the people on the street is perhaps the most shared photo of the Taiwan earthquake. According to reports from the Central News Agency of Taiwan, 17-storied Weiguan Jinlong building was the site that suffered the most damage from the earthquake. Of the estimated 14 people dead, at least 5 belonged to this building.
The photo below is brought to you by a Taiwanese social media user, who reportedly took the photo as he ran for cover.
According to the Australian, more than 2,000 firefighters and soldiers scrambled with ladders, cranes, and other equipment in the city of Tainan, the worst-affected region from the earthquake.
This photo of a toddler being evacuated by rescuers from a damaged building does not need more elaboration. Just goes to show that the best in us comes out when we are in the midst of a disaster.
Although the next photograph is not a humanist photo like its predecessor, it shows the extent of the damage caused in Taiwan’s southwestern city of Tainan.
Here in the photograph, three blocks of a residential building in central Tainan lie in a heap on the ground. While the two blocks on the side are still intact — with most of their residents surviving the ordeal — the central part of the building completely shattered on its impact with the ground, sending debris flying in all directions.
The Distorted One
The Taiwan earthquake caused havoc in the island nation, toppling buildings like a pack of cards. Although most of the casualties are reported among the residents of high-rises, this particular building below did not take too well to the earthquake.
The front part of this long building at the end of a street just fell down like the skull of a beheaded monster, crushing cars underneath. Defies physics, doesn’t it?
The Pain Of Taiwan
Although three of the five photographs, excluding the featured image, in this article are to do with buildings, the pictures with human subjects tell their own stories.
This rather obscure photograph, uploaded by Taiwan News on its Twitter page, shows a woman in a state of shock in front of her damaged home as rescuers try and find more survivors. This photo, more than any other, sums up the pain and the distress caused by the Taiwan earthquake.
Before I finish, a word about the featured image of this article. The photograph was taken by Ashley Pon of Stringer and shows a rescue worker searching for survivors at the site of a collapsed building in southern Taiwan.
The Taiwan earthquake has caused irreparable damage to the tiny nation, but with the world — and the internet — up in support, one can only that the Taiwanese people will come out fighting from the disaster.
[Photo by Ashley Pon/Getty Images]