A magnitude 6 earthquake struck just off the coast of Yilan County at 5:28am yesterday, the Central Weather Bureau said, adding that it does not exclude the possibility that a bigger earthquake could happen near the epicenter within a week.
Data from the Seismological Center showed that the epicenter was 36.5km southeast of Yilan County at a depth of 22.5km.
The earthquake was detected nationwide, except on Hengchun Peninsula, center Director Chen Kuo-chang (陳國昌) said.
The highest intensity felt was level 6 in Yilan County’s Wuta (武塔), bureau data showed.
A level 5 intensity was recorded in Yilan City, while a level 4 intensity was detected in Hualien County, New Taipei City, Taipei, Hsinchu County, Taoyuan and Taichung, the data showed.
The bureau has recorded three earthquakes at or exceeding magnitude 6 this year, including yesterday’s, Chen said.
There was a magnitude 6.3 earthquake on April 18 and a magnitude 6.1 quake on July 27, although the latter was not within the bureau’s monitoring zone, so did not count toward the official tally, he said.
On average, the nation records two or three earthquakes at magnitude 6 or greater per year, Chen said, adding that the bureau had previously said that another magnitude 6 quake was likely to happen in the second half of this year.
“It is a good sign that the seismological energy was released at a location within our expectation,” he said.
Regarding the cause, Chen said that the epicenter was at a fracture zone south of Yilan.
Most of the nation’s earthquakes exceeding magnitude 6 come from the zone, he said, adding that a magnitude 8 earthquake occurred there in 1920.
Ma Kuo-fong (馬國鳳), a professor in National Central University’s department of earth science, has listed the area as one of the top earthquake-prone regions in the nation, Chen said, adding that small and medium-size earthquakes have happened more frequently there this year compared with the past few years.
In terms of depth, most of the earthquakes in the zone happen 15km to 20km below the ground, he said.
“If yesterday’s earthquake was a foreshock, we do not exclude the possibility that it could be followed by another earthquake exceeding magnitude 6. If the earthquake is a main earthquake, there should not be too many aftershocks,” Chen said, adding that the bureau would closely monitor seismic activity for a week.
A magnitude 4.6 earthquake at 7:02am yesterday was not related to the magnitude 6 quake, Chen said.
CAUTION: Taiwanese should be alert, even if they have just liked or shared posts that would breach Beijing’s national security legislation for Hong Kong, the council said Due to the newly implemented Hong Kong national security legislation, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) has drawn up a list of what it described as “high-risk groups,” cautioning them not to travel to Hong Kong. People who support independence for Taiwan, Hong Kong, Tibet and Xinjiang; those who are critical of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the Hong Kong government and the “one country, two systems” concept; and those who donated to or voiced support for the Hong Kong anti-extradition bill movement are urged to refrain from visiting Hong Kong, the council said on its Web site. It released two posts on
NEW HONG KONG LAW: A visit to Beijing-friendly nations or those with weak judicial systems could leave people at risk of deportation to China, a former MAC official said Beijing could request countries with which it has extradition agreements to deport Taiwanese to China to face criminal charges following the implementation of national security legislation for Hong Kong, a former Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) official warned yesterday. Some developing countries, and those close to China because of the Belt and Road Initiative, are likely to accommodate Beijing’s requests to extradite Taiwanese to China, said former deputy MAC minister Chen Ming-chi (陳明祺), who served from July 2, 2018, until May 20, and then returned to his former post as an assistant professor of sociology at National Tsing Hua University. While Taiwanese
MORAL COURAGE: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs urged the global community to face China’s intention to subdue Taiwan and reject such irrational requests The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday strongly condemned the Chinese government for meddling with US officials’ interactions with Taiwan after FBI Director Christopher Wray revealed China’s efforts to discourage US officials from visiting Taiwan. The greatest long-term threat to the US’ information security and intellectual property, as well as its economic vitality, is China’s counterintelligence and economic espionage operations, Wray told a video event at the Hudson Institute in Washington. Beijing is engaged in a highly sophisticated and maligning foreign influence campaign, with methods that include bribery, blackmail and covert deals, he said. Giving an example, Wray said that when a US official
IN THE PIPELINE: The Ministry of National Defense said the sale, expected to take effect in one month, would be the seventh arms sale under the Trump administration The government yesterday thanked the US for approving the possible sale of a US$620 million missile repair and recertification package to Taiwan. The US Department of State has approved the sale of a package to recertify Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missiles to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) in Washington for an estimated US$620 million, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a news release on Thursday. The agency has delivered the required certification to the US Congress, notifying it of the possible sale, it added. The TECRO had requested to buy an upgrade package that would support an operational