- Taiwan hit by 2 earthquakes on Sunday
- Tremors of the quake were felt in capital Taipei along with southwestern city of Kaohsiung
- Over 70 tremors hit Taiwan in last 24 hours
An earthquake which measured 6.9 magnitude on Richter Scale struck Taiwan on Sunday causing at least 3 buildings to collapse, damaging roads, bridges and even derailing trains in the sparsely populated southeastern region.
According to the weather bureau of Taiwan, the epicentre was in Taitung county and followed a 6.4 magnitude quake in the same region on Saturday evening. No casualties have been reported from both incidents.
The tremors of the quake were also felt in the capital Taipei along with the southwestern city of Kaohsiung.
The Central Weather Bureau (CWB) of China designated the 6.8 earthquake that struck Taitung as a “main shock” and the magnitude 6.4 quake on Saturday and 70 quakes previously recorded as aftershocks, now reclassified as foreshocks, reported Taiwan’s Central News Agency (CNA).
Tsai ing-wen, President of Taiwan urges the people to stay alert for further aftershocks in the hours to come. On Facebook she wrote, “Water and electricity supplies in some areas are also affected by the earthquake,” and added “The related disaster relief work is in full swing.”
The United States Geological Survey (USGS) said the earthquake hit Taiwan at 2:44 PM on Sunday about 50 kilometres (30 miles) north of Taitung at a depth of 10 kilometres. According to reports, the jolt was reported as magnitude 7.2 initially but was later downgraded to 6.9.
In the Yuli Township of Hualien, the earthquake caused a three-story building occupied by 7-Eleven convenience store to collapse. Four people who were trapped in the building were rescued, the Hualien fire department was quoted as saying by AFP.
At least 2 other buildings in the town collapsed but no one was inside them. Two nearby bridges collapsed while two others were damaged, the report said.
Taiwan earthquake;— @KassMedefer (@KMedefer) September 18, 2022
The Aftermath of Hualien city earthquake?,
– the last Earthquake that had Hit Off the Coast of Hualien City, was on March 2022 at 6.7 Magnitude. pic.twitter.com/PlUTWC1zDW
Meanwhile, the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) said a train derailed at Dongli station in Hualien.
WhileTsunami advisory was released by the Japan’s Meteorological Agency and the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center shortly after the quake, both later updated their alerts stating there was no threat of high waves.
The CWB had said that the magnitude 6.4 quake in Taiwan on Saturday has now been reclassified as foreshocks. Chen Kuo-chang was quoted saying, “There have previously been instances when a major earthquake was later re-designated as a foreshock following another bigger temblor”. He also said the spate of quakes over the weekend may have been triggered by the Central Mountain Range fault system.
Tsunamis are giant waves which are caused by large earthquakes that take place near or under the ocean, volcanic eruptions under the sea, submarine landslides or onshore landslides in which large volumes of debris fall into the water.
According to the USGS, earthquakes of magnitudes between 6.5 and 7.5 do not usually cause destructive Tsunamis, having said that, small sea leave changes are likely observed in the vicinity of the epicentre. The USGS stated, “Tsunamis capable of producing damage or casualties are rare in this magnitude range but have occurred due to secondary effects such as landslides or submarine slumps”.
Earthquakes of magnitudes between 7.6 and 7.8 could produce destructive Tsunamis, especially near the epicentre. However, it is considered rare for a tsunami in this magnitude range to cause damage at great distances.
If we talk about earthquakes of magnitude that of 7.9 and greater can cause significant destruction, especially if the epicentre is near the seashore.
Earthquakes measuring magnitude 9.0 or greater, there are high chances of an aftershock of magnitude 7.5 or greater causing further loss of life and property.
The infamous Japan Tsunami 2011 was caused by an earthquake measuring 9.0-9.1 on the richter scale and caused damages worth over $ 360 billion.