Mon, Jun 11, 2012 - Page 1 News List

Magnitude 6.5 quake strikes, no deaths reported

SAFE AND SOUND:The temblor caused no major damage to infrastructure or injuries and while it slowed several trains, it did not disrupt industrial parks

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

A magnitude 6.5 earthquake hit the nation yesterday morning, delaying several trains operating on the North-Link Line between Suao (蘇澳) in Ilan County and Hualien, but causing no major damage to infrastructure or casualties.

According to the Central Weather Bureau, the temblor occurred at 5am, with the epicenter located 70.2km southeast of Yilan County. The depth of the earthquake was 61.9km.

Four aftershocks were reported, with a magnitude 5.1 aftershock occurring at 5:54am.

The largest intensity, of five, was detected in Nanao (南澳) in Yilan County and Heping (和平) in Hualien County.

The earthquake also generated an intensity of four in Wufenshan (五分山) in New Taipei City (新北市), Hualien City, Yilan City and Deji (德基) in Greater Taichung.

Taipei, Taoyuan City and several others recorded an intensity of three.

The earthquake in Nanao and Heping lasted more than 40 seconds, but only reached peak intensity for between 2.36 seconds and 0.18 seconds respectively.

Though no deaths, injuries or major damage was reported as of press time, the earthquake caused six trains operating on the North-Link Line to slow down. It was also the second earthquake this year with a magnitude exceeding six.

Earlier this year, a magnitude 6.4 earthquake in Wutai (霧台) Township in Pingtung County shook the nation.

The nation’s two major science parks emerged unscathed from the earthquake, the parks’ administrations said late yesterday.

Officials at the Hsinchu Science Park and Southern Taiwan Science Park in Greater Tainan and Greater Kaohsiung said that no companies operating in the complexes were affected by the earthquake.

Hsinchu Science Park Administration deputy director-general Tu Chi-hsiang (杜啟祥) said that no immediate damage was reported from the largest science-based industrial park in Taiwan, because the earthquake only registered an intensity of two in Hsinchu City.

Meanwhile, major operators at the Southern Taiwan Science Park, including Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), United Microelectronics Corp (UMC, 聯電), Chimei Innolux Corp (奇美電子) and HannStar Display Corp (瀚宇彩晶), did not report any automatic shutdowns at their plants.

The earthquake had an intensity of three in Greater Tainan and two in Greater Kaohsiung, which would not trigger automatic shutdowns, which are necessitated only by an intensity of more than three, said Southern Taiwan Science Park Administration deputy director Lin Wei-cheng (林威呈) said.

On April 9, TSMC held a groundbreaking ceremony in the South Taiwan Science Park for a new manufacturing facility where it will expand production of leading-edge 20-nanometer technology.

UMC also started construction last month of a 12-inch wafer plant in the Southern Taiwan Science Park to produce chips for the 28, 20 and 14 nanometer processes.

Lin said these new facilities were unharmed by the earthquake because they are designed to resist quakes with an intensity of up to five.

Additional reporting by CNA

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