Taiwan hit by a magnitude 6.7 earthquake – Buildings in Taipei rocked early Wednesday morning as two earthquakes slammed southeastern Taiwan, the biggest of which had a magnitude of 6.7. There were no immediate indications of damage.
The deepest was 30.6 km (19 miles) deep, while the other was 19.3 km deep. Both were felt across Taiwan, with epicenters in Hualien county, one just offshore, one in Taitung, according to the meteorology agency. Both Hualien and Taitung are mountainous and sparsely populated regions.
As it sits at the crossroads of two tectonic plates, Taiwan is subjected to earthquakes on a regular basis. It does not issue tsunami warnings unless the earthquake has a magnitude greater than 7.0.
A magnitude 6.7 earthquake off the coast of Taiwan early Wednesday shook houses and jolted people awake, leaving one person injured and collapsing a half-built bridge in the island’s east.
The US Geological Survey initially assigned a magnitude of 6.9 to the 1:41 a.m. quake, but later lowered it to 6.6 before finally raising it to 6.7. It also increased the depth from 10 kilometers (six miles) to 24 kilometers. The quake struck off Taiwan’s east coast, near the island’s attractive tourist city of Hualien, although it was felt throughout the country.
Individuals’ phones rang with government-issued warnings, and social media was flooded with people sharing their responses to being awakened. On Facebook, local reporter Chao Li stated, “The chandelier on my ceiling shook for more than three minutes and didn’t stop.” In an accompanying video, he claimed, “It’s shaking so much, it scares people to death.”
An AFP correspondent in Taipei’s Zhongshan district felt their building quake for a few minutes shortly after 1:41 a.m. On Wednesday, local television broadcast images from grocery stores showing products flying off the shelves as the earthquake struck.
On its official Facebook page, Taiwan’s National Fire Agency stated that a man in the southern county of Taitung had been hit by glass and had been taken to the hospital. A bridge under construction in Hualien also collapsed, but no one was hurt because traffic was prohibited in the area, according to the agency.
Hualien, known for its beaches and hiking trails, was devastated by a 6.4-magnitude earthquake in 2018, which killed 17 people and injured 300 more.
“Please do not worry if there are aftershocks,” the county administration wrote in a message on its official Facebook page. “We advise residents to be prepared for disaster prevention.”
Following the first quake, there were roughly 150 aftershocks, most of which were under 3.6 magnitude, according to Chen Kuo-chang, chief of Taiwan’s Central Weather Bureau’s Seismological Center.
Earthquakes with a magnitude of 6.0 or higher can be devastating, depending on where they strike and how deep they go. The last time Taiwan had a quake of this size was in January, when a 6.2 tremor struck the country’s east coast. There were no serious injuries or property damage.