The island of Taiwan was hit at dawn on Tuesday by dozens of earthquakes which caused no casualties, according to authorities, but caused buildings to sway, almost three weeks after a fatal earthquake.

The strongest of these earthquakes, with a magnitude of 6.1 according to the US Geological Survey (USGC), occurred around 2:30 a.m. (6:30 p.m. GMT), followed a few minutes later by a tremor of 6.0.

The Taipei Central Meteorological Agency rated the earthquakes as 6.0 and 6.3 respectively. According to the government, these were aftershocks of the earthquake of April 3 which left at least 17 dead and more than 1,100 injured on the island.

Authorities said no casualties had been reported so far but residents in the capital Taipei had a rough night. Walls and windows shook in the houses which began to sway.

“I was too scared to move and stayed in bed,” Kevin Lin, 53, an office worker in Taipei, told AFP when he was startled awake by the strong shaking.

Around 8 a.m., a 5.8 magnitude earthquake shook the capital as residents were heading to work.

– More than 200 earthquakes –

This series of earthquakes started Monday around 5 p.m. and lasted until 10:30 a.m. Tuesday. The weather agency said more than 200 earthquakes were recorded during this period.

All occurred in Hualien County, a city on the island's eastern coast and about 150 km south of Taipei.

This mountainous county was the epicenter of the 7.4 magnitude earthquake on April 3, which Taiwan said was “the strongest in 25 years.” It caused landslides that blocked roads and severely damaged buildings around the main city of Hualien.

At least 17 people were killed, with the last body found in a quarry on April 13.

On Tuesday, in Hualien, a hotel which had already suffered damage began to wobble in the night following the tremors, according to images obtained by AFP.

“Please come out for your safety. Let's evacuate the area first, okay? Is anyone still inside? Please come down,” a firefighter shouted to residents of nearby buildings.

The Hualien County government announced that schools and offices would be closed on Tuesday due to continued aftershocks.

In Taipei on Tuesday morning, Mr. Lin worried whether the apartment he lives in, which was built more than 40 years ago, “can withstand so many earthquakes.”

The island of Taiwan is regularly hit by seismic tremors because it is located near the junction of two tectonic plates.

The earthquake of April 3 was followed by more than 1,100 aftershocks which caused landslides in the surroundings of Hualien.

This earthquake was the most serious since the 7.6 magnitude earthquake which struck Taiwan in September 1999 and killed 2,400 people – the worst disaster in the island's recent history.

Stricter anti-seismic regulations, including in building standards, and widespread public awareness appear to have averted a major disaster on April 3.

Leave a reply below

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Contact Business

Captcha Code