The Chi-Chi, Taiwan Earthquake of September 21, 1999: Reconnaissance Report

Edited by G.C.Lee, C.H.Loh; Contributors: M. Bruneau, I.G. Buckle, S. Chang, P. Flores, T. O'Rourke, M. Shinozuka, T. Soong, and others from NCREE

MCEER-00-0003 | 04/30/2000 | 176 pages

Keywords: Chi Chi, Taiwan earthquake, September 21, 1999.  Ji Ji, Taiwan earthquake, September 21, 1999.  Damage.  Reconnaissance report.  Geology.  Tectonics.  Surface rupture.  Ground motion characteristics.  Landslides.  Surface faulting.  Transient ground deformation.  Critical facilities.  Hospitals.  Schools.  Buildings.  Nonstructural components.  Highway bridges.  Lifelines.  Electric power systems.  Remote sensing.  Economic effects.  Losses.  Emergency response.  Disaster relief.  Government response.

Abstract: On September 21, 1999, an earthquake struck the central region of Taiwan.  This earthquake became known as the 921 earthquake or the Ji-Ji or Chi-Chi earthquake.  Shortly after the earthquake occurred, MCEER arranged to visit the devastated area.  The National Center for Research on Earthquake Engineering (NCREE) in Taiwan hosted a workshop for MCEER researchers and others to identify short-term strategies/actions for post-earthquake restoration and research needs.  MCEER researchers were paired with NCREE researchers with similar specialties, and the joint reconnaissance teams examined the earthquake's impact.  This report presents the observations from the reconnaissance trip and the workshop.  It begins with with an overview of the geology and teconics of Taiwan.  This is followed by a section focusing on the geotechnical aspects of the earthquake.  A section on damage to critical facilities (hospitals, schools, fire and police departmentsand key industrial facilities) is followed by an evaluation of damage to buildings.  The performance of highway bridges and damage to electric power distribution systems are also assessed.  Applications of remote sending are also described.  Sections on economic impacts, emergency response and short-term restoration, and the human and institutional perspectives of the earthquake conclude the report.