80 Earthquakes Hit Taiwan All Night, Swaying Buildings; No Casualties Reported Yet

Hualien, located on the eastern coast of Taiwan, holds many beautiful and scenic areas, like the Taroko National Park, the Qingshui Cliff and the Eternal Spring Shrine.

Breathtaking waterfalls and beaches are perfect for sightseeing and leisurely walks. Unfortunately, throughout the night, the area was hit by a series of 80 earthquakes – possibly more tremors.

The 6.3-Magnitude Earthquake

According to Taiwan’s Central Weather Administration Earthquake Report, Hualien experienced tremors of as low as 3.0 magnitude to as high as 6.3 magnitude in the late hours of Monday (22 Apr) into early Tuesday morning.

On Monday, intense shakes were felt at around 5.08pm local time, and it was reported to be a 5.5 magnitude earthquake. This quake had a depth of 10km.

The depth of a quake refers to how far under the Earth’s surface it occurred. The intense shakes, happening 10km below the surface, were strong enough to be felt all the way from the capital city of Taipei.

Hualien is approximately 120 to 130 kilometres east of Taipei, or about 2-3 hours travel by car.

Locals still felt a series of tremors and aftershocks – until two intense shakes happened one after another while the region was asleep.

Source: cwa.gov.tw

At 2:26 am and 2:32 am, two earthquakes of magnitude 6.0 and 6.3 occurred respectively and buildings were reportedly swaying.

Thankfully, there were no reports of any casualties.

Taiwan’s Earthquake Vulnerability 

Taiwan is prone to experiencing intense earthquakes and tremors due to its geographical position. It is located near the junction of two tectonic plates: Eurasian Plate and Philippine Sea Plate.

Source: temblor.net

For those of us who did not take geography, any shifts in the tectonic plates will result in seismic waves, because there is a sudden release of energy. The Richter scale, better known as the magnitude scale, tells us how much energy was released on the earth’s crust.

On 3 Apr, at least 17 people died after a 7.2-magnitude earthquake shook Hualien. This caused landslides and buildings were badly damaged, causing roadblocks and other disruptions.

Singaporean Couple Still Missing

A Singaporean married couple are the only pair of people unaccounted for despite search and rescue efforts. Aftershocks have further dampened the search team’s progress.

According to Taiwan’s National Fire Agency, Singaporeans Sim Hwee Kok and Neo Siew Choo, were last seen at a bus station in Hualien and getting ready to board a shuttle bus heading to Taroko National Park.

They alighted along the Shakadang Trail in Hualien’s Taroko George at 7:20am on Apr 3, 40 minutes before the terrifying earthquake. They have since been reported missing.