Hualien records over a thousand aftershocks, strong 6.3 magnitude earthquake strikes early morning, felt intensely in Taipei

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Shoufeng Township

23rd April 2024 – (Taipei) Hualien County in Taiwan experienced a significant seismic event early on 23rd April, as a 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck at 2.32am local time. The tremor, centred in Shoufeng Township, had a depth of 5.5 kilometres and was felt strongly across the region, including the capital city, Taipei. Just two minutes prior, an offshore quake of magnitude 6.0 with a depth of 10 kilometres shook the eastern maritime border of Taiwan, though no casualties have been reported thus far.

This latest quake is part of a series of aftershocks following a major 7.2 magnitude earthquake that occurred on April 3. The Central Weather Administration has noted that these events are typical post-major quake adjustments where the earth’s crust readjusts itself.

Since the 3rd April tremor, over 1,000 aftershocks have been recorded, continuously affecting daily life in Hualien. On the evening of 22nd April, a 5.9 magnitude quake was followed by a 4.7 magnitude tremor before midnight, causing disruptions in local transportation. The Taipei Metro, for example, was forced to operate at reduced speeds due to safety concerns.

The impact of the ongoing seismic activity has been extensive. Local media reports state that merchandise was knocked from shelves in shops, and rockfalls were reported along the coastal highway, Highway 11. The tremors have also led to power outages affecting at least 109 households in Hualien.

Moreover, debris from landslides caused by the quakes and heavy rainfall has interrupted the railway service between Hualien and Chongde stations, temporarily halting travel on the northern loop line. In Xiulin Township, landslides prompted the suspension of work and classes on 23rd April.