6.2-Magnitude quake jolts Taiwan

Taiwan has been recording several earthquakes the past week with the latest hit of 6.2 magnitude (no 074). Image courtesy of Taiwan’s Central Weather Administration.

TAIPEI, Oct 24 (Bernama-dpa) — A 6.2-magnitude earthquake shook Taiwan on Tuesday, according to the Central Weather Administration (CWA), reported German news agency (dpa).  

Tuesday’s quake struck at 7.05 am (2305 GMT) at a depth of 5.7 km. The epicentre was about 120 km east of Hualien in eastern Taiwan.

According to CWA, people across the entire island of Taiwan felt the quake. The quake was felt most strongly in Yilan County, where it rated three on Taiwan’s seven-tier intensity scale. Residents there received an earthquake alert on their mobile phones. Many residents were frightened and woke up. In the capital Taipei, residents were also woken up by the shaking.

There were no reports of serious injuries or damage.

CWA officials said on Tuesday that the scale of the aftershocks will be smaller because the epicentre is far away. However, officials said, it cannot be ruled out that there will be aftershocks with a magnitude of 5.5 to 6.0 in the following five days.

CWA said it was the first earthquake of magnitude six or above within the observation range so far this year. In the past 10 years, there have been an average of two to three earthquakes with magnitude six or above every year.

Meanwhile, the Japan Meteorological Agency said on Tuesday that a 5.9-magnitude earthquake, with a depth of 20 km, was detected in the adjacent Sea of Yonagunijima Island in southern Japan.

In September 1999, the earthquake-prone Taiwan island, which sits on the boundary between the Eurasian plate and Philippine Sea plate, was hit by a 7.3 magnitude earthquake that left more than 2,400 people dead.