6.5-magnitude earthquake strikes offshore Taiwan

A strong earthquake hit Taiwan on Sunday. According to the Asian Island Meteorological Service near China, the earthquake measured 6.5 on the Richter scale. The residents panicked, abandoned the shaky buildings and took to the streets.

There were no immediate reports of serious or bodily harm. Television shows how banners fell to the ground and rubble covered roads in mountainous areas.

The epicenter was located 22.7 kilometers south of the eastern Yilan District, at a depth of 66.8 kilometers. People felt the earthquake all over the island. It was recorded at 1:11 p.m. local time (7:11 a.m. with us). An aftershock of magnitude 5.4 soon followed. Additional aftershocks will not be ruled out in the coming days. According to the US Geological Survey, the first earthquake had a magnitude of 6.2.

A strong earthquake hit Taiwan. © EMSC

In the capital, Taipei, authorities suspended subway traffic for about 40 minutes. The country’s high-speed trains have also stopped. Authorities have inspected construction sites in and around Taipei for stability. Sirens were heard all over Taipei. According to the residents, there were seismic waves for several minutes.

Taiwan has more frequent earthquakes. The country is located on the separation of two tectonic plates. In 2018, 17 people were killed and 300 injured in a 6.4-magnitude earthquake near Hualien City. The worst earthquake on record hit 7.6 in September 1999, killing 2,400 people in the worst natural disaster in Taiwan’s history.

A picture of the 2018 Taiwan earthquake.

A picture of the 2018 Taiwan earthquake. © Environmental Protection Agency

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Denton Watson

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