Northern Taiwan was rocked by a magnitude 4 earthquake at 12:31am yesterday, renewing concerns about the potential for volcanoes in the Tatun Volcano Group (大屯火山群) in Yangmingshan National Park to erupt.
At press time, no casualties had been reported from the quake and only minor damage — to the Pingdeng Elementary School on Yangmingshan — was reported.
Many residents in the area were startled by the quake, which caused a loud rumbling sound.
Photo courtesy of National Taiwan University professor Chen Hung-yu
Central Weather Bureau data showed that the epicenter of the quake was in Taipei’s Shilin District (士林), 11.8km north of Taipei City Hall at a depth of 6.3km.
The strongest intensity of the quake, Level 4, was detected on Yangmingshan, followed by Level 3 in Wugu (五股) in New Taipei City (新北市) and Taoyuan City, and Level 2 in Taipei and Keelung.
The bureau’s records show that 19 earthquakes with a magnitude exceeding 3 have occurred within a 5km radius of the epicenter of yesterday’s quake since 1980. The largest one was in 1988, with a magnitude of 5.3.
Photo: Chu Pei-hsiung, Taipei Times
Yesterday’s quake was the strongest within the perimeter of the Tatun group in 26 years, the bureau said.
Seismology Center Director Kuo Kai-wen (郭鎧紋) said the earthquake was a stress adjustment that occurs after lava cools down.
“When the lava in a volcano cools down, it shrinks in size. This will subsequently lead to gaps in the rock layers. Pulled by gravity, the rock layer on top falls. This kind of stress adjustment is quite normal,” he said.
Yesterday’s quake was not caused by the active fault at the foot of Yangminshan, as its epicenter and the fault are about 6km apart, Kuo said.
Nevertheless, the earthquake generated concern that one or more of the Tatun volcanoes might erupt soon.
Kuo said that was an unlikely scenario.
“The volcanoes in Tatun are generally considered dormant. Currently, only three to five small earthquakes happen in the area per day. On average, the volcanoes could erupt if there are more than 100 to 200 earthquakes per day, and they have to escalate from deep earthquakes to shallow earthquakes,” he said.
However, National Taiwan University professor Chen Hongey (陳宏宇) said the government needs to carefully examine the correlations between yesterday’s magnitude 4 earthquake and the active fault, adding that it was quite unusual for an earthquake to occur at the volcanic zone.
DELUSIONAL: The male patient said he did not know that the woman had mental problems, but the court said that her being restrained in isolation should have given him pause The Taiwan High Court has ordered the Jhudong branch of the Taiwan National University Hospital and a male patient to jointly pay a former female patient’s family NT$400,000 in compensation after the man had sex with the woman, who has mental problems, while hospitalized. The 26-year-old woman has been diagnosed with a mental disorder, a symptom of which is that she obsessively seeks to have sex, her mother said. The mother filed a formal complaint and sought damages from the hospital and the male patient surnamed Chen (陳) after finding out that her daughter had sex with the man while
The Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) should not use the government’s disease-prevention policy as an excuse to block people’s access to the Taipei Railway Station’s main hall, the Taiwan International Workers’ Association said yesterday. The association held a protest at the station after what organizers said were about 400 people staged a sit-in on Saturday to demonstrate against the TRA’s proposal to ban sitting on the floor of the main hall. In accordance with the Central Epidemic Command Center’s disease-prevention measures, large gatherings have been banned in the hall since the end of February. After protesters yesterday expressed their grievances at the southern
SEEKING OPTIONS: A Sinyi Realty corporate realty official attributed the spike to proposed legal changes in the territory and the ongoing pro-democracy protests More Hong Kongers purchased real estate in Taiwan last year than other foreigners, Ministry of the Interior statistics showed. The ministry attributed the spike to a proposed extradition law that the Hong Kong government submitted last year, which would have allowed suspects to be sent to China and other nations, which sparked mass protests that are continuing. The rate of purchases last year by Hong Kong natural and juridical persons stood at 40 and 60 percent respectively, with building area purchased by both standing at 47.41 percent and 52.59 percent respectively, ministry data showed. Department of Land Administration statistics showed that Hong Kongers
NEW RECRUITS: Nearly 9 million students are to graduate from university next month, and Beijing plans to use incentives to convince them to join the military, an analyst said Rising unemployment in China due to the COVID-19 pandemic could benefit the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) by allowing it to attract new, better educated recruits, a Taiwanese security researcher said on Friday. Chen Ying-hsuan (陳穎萱), a policy analyst at the Division of Chinese Politics and Military Affairs at the Institute for National Defense and Security Research, a government-funded think tank, made the remarks in an article published in the Defense Security Biweekly magazine. About 8.74 million university students are expected to graduate in China next month, while Chinese companies’ demand for fresh graduates fell 16.77 percent annually in the