On February 6th, 2016, about 4 in the morning, the area where I live in Taiwan suffered a significantly shallow 6.4 earthquake. It lasted roughly 2 minutes — about 30 seconds of intensity, then 90 minutes of dying down to nothing. The epicenter was about 50km from our home.
It woke all of us up, except my son, who slept through 90% of it. Once my wife and I realized that it was not life-or-property threatening, we relaxed and waited it out. We were very fortunate — only a couple of glass items in the kitchen fell and shattered. That was the extent of our loss.
Throughout the rest of the city, there was some water and power outages for a few days. There was very little damage to actual buildings, however, with the exception of one particular residential high rise. “[O]ne 17-story residential building [collapsed] with hundreds of people trapped [inside]…. Officials reported that 397 people were rescued… [but at least] 115 people have died inside…. Reuters reported that witnesses saw large rectangular cooking-oil cans packed inside wall cavities of the collapsed apartment building, apparently having been used as building material, while Taiwan media reported the presence of polystyrene in supporting beams, mixed in with concrete.” The original builders of the building have been detained on “charges of professional negligence resulting in death.” (source)
Looking only at the photos of this building, one would assume that damage throughout the city was catastrophic, that whole parts of the city were leveled. Nope. Just this one building. Over 115 people are now dead because some corrupt contractors thought they could skim a little money by inserting rusty oil cans into the building’s foundation and polystyrene into the supporting beams.
Believe me, ever since this happened, the whole nation has been on fire. This was only a medium-strength earthquake — hundreds of buildings, decades older than this one, survived unscathed. But this one topped like a house of cards, because its foundation and supporting beams were full of junk. It looked sturdy enough on the outside, but after it collapsed everyone got a good look inside. The corruption that was buried beneath became so obvious that it begged the question as to how it managed to survive previous quakes.
When the torrential winds come, the ground shakes mightily, and the flood waters rush in, I wonder what will be exposed within the foundation and support beams of Intellectual Reserve, Inc. Will the elders of Israel lose heart, or will their testimonies of Christ catch fire and burn brighter?