A magnitude 6 earthquake struck just off the coast of Yilan County at 5:28am yesterday, the Central Weather Bureau said, adding that it does not exclude the possibility that a bigger earthquake could happen near the epicenter within a week.
Data from the Seismological Center showed that the epicenter was 36.5km southeast of Yilan County at a depth of 22.5km.
The earthquake was detected nationwide, except on Hengchun Peninsula, center Director Chen Kuo-chang (陳國昌) said.
The highest intensity felt was level 6 in Yilan County’s Wuta (武塔), bureau data showed.
A level 5 intensity was recorded in Yilan City, while a level 4 intensity was detected in Hualien County, New Taipei City, Taipei, Hsinchu County, Taoyuan and Taichung, the data showed.
The bureau has recorded three earthquakes at or exceeding magnitude 6 this year, including yesterday’s, Chen said.
There was a magnitude 6.3 earthquake on April 18 and a magnitude 6.1 quake on July 27, although the latter was not within the bureau’s monitoring zone, so did not count toward the official tally, he said.
On average, the nation records two or three earthquakes at magnitude 6 or greater per year, Chen said, adding that the bureau had previously said that another magnitude 6 quake was likely to happen in the second half of this year.
“It is a good sign that the seismological energy was released at a location within our expectation,” he said.
Regarding the cause, Chen said that the epicenter was at a fracture zone south of Yilan.
Most of the nation’s earthquakes exceeding magnitude 6 come from the zone, he said, adding that a magnitude 8 earthquake occurred there in 1920.
Ma Kuo-fong (馬國鳳), a professor in National Central University’s department of earth science, has listed the area as one of the top earthquake-prone regions in the nation, Chen said, adding that small and medium-size earthquakes have happened more frequently there this year compared with the past few years.
In terms of depth, most of the earthquakes in the zone happen 15km to 20km below the ground, he said.
“If yesterday’s earthquake was a foreshock, we do not exclude the possibility that it could be followed by another earthquake exceeding magnitude 6. If the earthquake is a main earthquake, there should not be too many aftershocks,” Chen said, adding that the bureau would closely monitor seismic activity for a week.
A magnitude 4.6 earthquake at 7:02am yesterday was not related to the magnitude 6 quake, Chen said.
SCHEDULE: The delegation is due to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen this morning and witness the signing of an MOU on bilateral health cooperation in the afternoon US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar yesterday arrived in Taipei aboard a US government plane at the head of a delegation that is the highest-level visit by a US official since Washington switched diplomatic recognition to China in 1979. Azar’s flight landed at Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) at 4:48pm, nearly one hour earlier than scheduled, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. The apron where it landed is reserved for military aircraft, the Songshan Air Force Base Command said. The members of Azar’s delegation included HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Robert Kadlec, HHS Chief of Staff Brian
ALEX AZAR: The first visit by a head of the Department of Health and Human Services would strictly observe the CECC’s special regulations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar is to lead a delegation to Taiwan — the highest-level visit by a US Cabinet official since the two sides cut formal relations in 1979. The plan was announced yesterday morning by the US Department of Health and Human Services and confirmed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). Beijing has expressed its concerns to Washington, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Wang Wenbin (汪文斌) said later yesterday. Taiwan and the US only issued statements saying that the visit would happen “in the coming days.” MOFA said that due to security concerns, it would
‘CROSS-STRAIT CONSIDERATIONS’: Groups said that the Ministry of Education’s policies excluded Chinese and students should not be blocked over political issues The Taiwan International Student Movement yesterday said it would protest today outside the Ministry of Education in Taipei against a policy that excludes some Chinese students from returning to Taiwan amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Since June 17, the ministry has allowed foreign students from 19 “low risk” and “medium-low risk” countries and regions to enter Taiwan. On July 22, it announced that it was relaxing restrictions to include students from all countries and regions who are graduating this semester and on Wednesday it further expanded entry to students enrolled in degree programs. A letter sent by the ministry on Wednesday to universities did
The military last week sent “no small number” of Marine Corps officers to the Pratas Islands (Dongsha Island, 東沙群島) following reports of a Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) drill targeting the islands scheduled for this month. In an interview with Hong Kong’s Bauhinia Magazine published on Saturday last week, PLA National Defense University professor Li Daguang (李大光) confirmed that the Chinese army was planning to stage a simulated invasion of the Pratas Islands in the South China Sea this month. The islands comprise three atolls, with Pratas Island, at 1.74km2, being the largest. They lie southwest of Taiwan proper in the South