Stephen Jack is the editor of the Austral Bike Book and is based in Taiwan. After asking him if he was OK - he emailed back in the affirmative - we asked him about the state of the Taiwanese bicycle factories. Here's his reply:
"Taipei is a 160 km from the epicenter which is near enough to the center of the island. Taipei got off lightly. Taichung City itself is about 60 kms from the center and got off relatively lightly. In Puli, a small city near the epicenter, I saw about 40 coffins stacked up and ready in the grounds of the hospital along with forty foot freezer containers for bodies. It was like a hypermarket of death.
Where we are in Tali, about 50 kms from the center, was one of the hardest hit around here. Our side brick fence has gone and our house was/still is a mess of fallen cabinets, bookcases and computer. It took a couple days just to clean up the broken glass and crockery.
"The [bike] factories are mostly within an hour's drive of Taichung. There are bound to be factories effected. But unless they are serverly damaged, the delays would not be more than a week or two. But as nearly every part is manufactured by a different factory, it is also a matter of whether or not your key suppliers are up and running. Power and water supply is a big factor - we have not had water for 6 days. Power is off in some places or being rationed in others. Assemblers will find a way to get up and running quickly if they can, even if it means moving assembly lines out into rice paddies!"
"I have heard that Taichung Harbour was damaged quite badly."
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