Sun, Aug 23, 2009 - Page 2 News List

Southern Taiwan wobbles after moderate quake

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

An earthquake measuring 5.6 on the Richter scale struck southern Taiwan early yesterday morning, the Central Weather Bureau’s (CWB) Seismological Center said.

No damage or casualties were reported.

The quake, which struck at 4:57am, was centered 31.6km southwest of Fangliao (枋寮), Pingtung County, at a depth of 50.5km, seismologists said.

Moderate shaking was felt in Kaohsiung City and Pingtung County’s Siaoliouciou Island (小琉球), as well as in Pingtung City and Tainan County’s Cigu Township (七股), they said.

Slight shaking was felt in Taitung County’s Anshuo Village (安朔), Tainan City, Chiayi County’s Lioujiao Township (六腳) and Yunlin County’s Sihhu Township (四湖).

Last Monday, an 6.5 magnitude earthquake rattled Taiwan at 8:05am, which the CWB said was the strongest quake to strike the country this year.

No damage or casualties were reported in that quake, either.

The epicenter of last Monday’s quake was 187.7km east-southeast of Hualien, at a depth of 11km below the Pacific Ocean floor.

QUAKE ZONE

Taiwan is located in a strongly oblique convergent zone between the Eurasian Plate and the Philippine Sea Plate.

Underground tectonic activity in the area is responsible for between 16,000 and 18,000 detectable earthquakes in Taiwan each year, about 250 of which reach magnitude 4.0 and beyond.

About 30 quakes a year measure 5.0 or higher on the Reichter scale, two to three of which are magnitude 6.0 or bigger, the CWB’s Seismology Center said.

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