Taiwan's earthquake strongest in 25 years

Apr 03, 2024

Taipei [Taiwan], April 3 : The Central Weather Administration (CWA) Seismological Center highlighted that the powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake that rocked Huwalien City on Wednesday, was the strongest in 25 years as the last tragic 7.3-magnitude 921 Jiji earthquake hit the country in 1999, leaving over 2,000 dead, reported Focus Taiwan.
Kuo Kai-wen, former director of the CWA Seismology Center, described Wednesday's 7.2 magnitude earthquake as having an energy equivalent to around 32 atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima, while the 921 Jiji earthquake had the energy of 46 Hiroshima atomic bombs.
The present director of the CWA Seismology Center, Wu Chien-fu said that the 921 Jiji earthquake destroyed hundreds of buildings in central Taiwan, but today's earthquake shook more parts of Taiwan with greater intensity than any other since 1999.
The earthquake's epicentre was located in the Pacific Ocean, 25.0 kilometres south-southeast of Hualien County Hall, at a depth of 15.5 km, according to the Central Weather Administration's Seismology Center, according to Focus Taiwan.
The earthquake's intensity, which gauges the actual effect of a seismic event, was highest in Hualien, where it measured a 6+ on Taiwan's 7-tier intensity scale, the CWA said.
Moreover, the 6+ intensity represents shaking that makes it almost impossible for a person to stand in place and can even throw people in the air, reported Focus Taiwan.
The intensity of 5+ was recorded in Yilan County, up the coast from Hualien County, and in Miaoli County, and 5- in Taipei, New Taipei, Taoyuan, Taichung, Hsinchu County, Changhua County and Nantou County.
However, people at 5+ intensity may also find it hard to stand and loose items topple over.
Wu said it was only the second time an intensity level of 6+ had occurred in Taiwan since the introduction of the new CWA seismic intensity scale in 2020.
Under the old seismic intensity scale system, with 10 the highest intensity, the 1999 earthquake's highest intensity was measured at 7 in Nantou's Yuchi Township, Focus Taiwan reported.
Wu said that because Wednesday's earthquake was shallow and close to land, it was felt all over Taiwan, adding that more strong aftershocks could be on the way.