Fri, Nov 01, 2013 - Page 1 News List

Big earthquake spooks Taiwan on Halloween

By Lin Chia-chi and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer and agencies

A member of staff at the Central Weather Bureau shows an analogue seismogram reading of the magnitude 6.3 earthquake with its epicenter in Hualien that hit at 8:02pm yesterday evening.

Photo: CNA

A magnitude 6.3 earthquake jolted eastern Taiwan at 8:02pm yesterday, with tremors being felt across the whole nation, the Central Weather Bureau said.

There were no immediate reports of injury or damage, though two people were reported trapped in elevators in a building in New Taipei City’s (新北市) Sijhih District (汐止).

Firefighters extracted both of them.

The bureau said the earthquake’s center was in Hualien County’s Ruisui Township (瑞穗), about 52.9km south of Hualien County Hall at a depth of 19.5km.

The US Geological Survey gave a slightly higher magnitude of 6.6 and a shallower depth of 9km.

“Buildings in Hualien and most cities shook for about a minute,” an official with the bureau’s Seismology Center said.

Two High-Speed Rail trains were halted, but the system later resumed normal operations.

Hsinchu Science Park, where many of the nation’s high-tech firms are headquartered, did not receive any reports of damage, Hsinchu Science Park Administration deputy director-general Tu Chi-hsiang (杜啟祥) said.

The strongest tremor had an intensity of 6 in Ruisui’s Hongye Village (紅葉), the bureau said.

It said an intensity of 5 was recorded in Nantou and Yilan counties, 4 in Chiayi, Taitung and Taoyuan counties and New Taipei City, 3 in Taipei and Greater Taichung, and Yunlin, Changhua, Miaoli, Pingtung and Hsinchu counties, and 2 in Greater Kaohsiung and Greater Tainan.

It was the third inland earthquake of magnitude 6 or higher this year. The previous ones occurred in Nantou County — a magnitude 6.2 quake on March 27 and a magnitude 6.5 quake on June 2.

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