Thu, Sep 30, 2010 - Page 2 News List

Hualien rattled by series of earthquakes

BY SHELLEY SHAN  /  STAFF REPORTER

Hualien County residents had an eventful day yesterday after more than a dozen earthquakes hit the area starting on Tuesday.

Statistics from the Central Weather Bureau showed that 10 of the earthquakes occurred between 9:10pm on Tuesday and 7:54pm yesterday.

Only one, however, was above magnitude 5, with the temblors varying from magnitude 3.1 to 4.3. All had an epicenter northeast of the bureau’s observation -station in Siouling (秀林), Hualien County.

The latest temblor, magnitude 3.8, hit at 7:54pm, said Kuo Kai-wen (郭鎧紋), director of the bureau’s Seismology Center.

The magnitude 5.1 earthquake occurred at 1:33am at a depth of 19.2km. The highest intensity was felt in Taroko (大魯閣), Hualien, at magnitude 5. The intensity of the quake in Hualien City and Nanao (南澳), Yilan County, was magnitude 4.

At press time, there were no reports of damage or injuries.

Kuo said that as the east coast was located between the Eurasian Plate and Philippine Sea Plate, areas like Taroko, Siouling, Nanao and Taitung were prone to earthquakes.

Kuo said the occurrence of so many earthquakes within a single day was unusual, adding that the last time such a series of earthquake had been felt in Taiwan was in June last year and April 2005.

Kuo said small earthquakes helped release energy accumulating in the earth’s crustAdditional reporting by CNA

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