An earthquake measuring 5.4 on the Richter scale rattled the nation yesterday morning, while another temblor of almost the same magnitude occurred five hours later, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) said yesterday.
The bureau said that the first earthquake struck at 9am, with the epicenter located 37km southeast of the observation station in Mingchien (民間), Nantou County.
The earthquake was felt nationwide, with Tsaolin (草嶺) in Yunlin County registering the highest intensity at 4.
The depth of the earthquake was 13.3km, the bureau said.
Another earthquake measuring 5.5 on the Richter scale struck at 2:10pm.
The epicenter was 15km northwest of the CWB’s observation station in Yuli (玉里), Hualien County.
The earthquake was 2.5km deep and the highest intensity of 5 was felt in Hongyeh (紅葉), Hualien County.
Because Nantou suffered the most damage in the 921 Earthquake in 1999, yesterday morning’s quake reminded some residents of the traumatic experiences they had 10 years ago.
Eastern TV News broadcast an interview with residents in Chichi (集集), Nantou County, the epicenter of the 921 Earthquake.
One man said yesterday’s quake felt like it was only slightly smaller than the 921 quake.
Another woman said she was so terrified that she could not even run.
The director of the CWB’s seismological center, Kuo Kai-wen (郭鎧紋), said the earthquake in Mingchien occurred because of the extrusion of the Philippine sea plate and the Eurasia plate.
“The energy had built up and needed to be released,” Kuo said. “A big earthquake occurs when more of that energy is released.”