Tue, Mar 22, 2011 - Page 2 News List

JAPAN DISASTER: No damage reported from Hualien, Taitung quakes

Staff Writer, with CNA

Three moderate earthquakes, with magnitudes ranging from 3.5 to 4.1 shook Hualien and Taitung counties early yesterday, the Central Weather Bureau said. There were no reports of damage or casualties.

A magnitude 4.0 quake first struck at 12:49am, with the epicenter located 15.4km southwest of the Hualien County Government building, the bureau’s Seismological Center said. The earthquake occurred at a depth of 23.7km.

A second magnitude 3.5 earthquake occurred at 1:24am, with the epicenter located 19.3km southwest of the Hualien County building, at a depth of 23.6km.

At 4:57am, a magnitude 4.1 quake shook Taitung County. The epicenter of the quake was 40.4km northwest of the Taitung County Government building and occurred at a depth of 7.5km.

None of the three quakes caused any damage and were barely felt in other parts of the country, seismologists said.

On Sunday, a magnitude 5.9 earthquake rocked central and southern Taiwan at 4pm, with the epicenter located 45.3km southeast of the Taitung County Government building, at a depth of 16.3km.

The quake sent people running into the streets, with images of the powerful March 11 earthquake in Japan possibly still fresh in their minds. Sunday’s quake also resulted in no casualties.

Seismological Center director Kuo Kai-wen (郭鎧紋) said Sunday’s quake was the biggest to hit the nation this year, surpassing the magnitude 5.5 quakes off Hualien and Taitung on Feb. 1 and Feb. 15 respectively.

On average, the nation is shaken by two to three quakes per year that are magnitudes 5.0 to 5.9 and another two to three of magnitude 6.0 or higher, Kuo said.

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