Strong Earthquake off Taiwan

Strong earthquake off the coast of Hualien county, Taiwan

Last update: June 29, 2013 at 12:16 am by By

Update 00:14 UTC : CWB Taiwan reports a CWB 3 intensity shaking at Heping, Hualien County,  Nan-ao, Yilan County –  Luodong, Yilan County  and  Yilan City, Yilan County

This is one of the more powerful earthquakes in the direct Hualien county area. Local CWB is reporting a Magnitude of 5.6 at a depth of 16.9 km. As the epicenter is 30 to 40 km out in the sea, we do not expect damage from this earthquake.

Image courtesy CWB, Taiwan

Image courtesy CWB, Taiwan

123 km SE of Taipei, Taiwan / pop: 7,871,900 / local time: 07:51:53.0 2013-06-29
46 km E of Hualian, Taiwan / pop: 350,468 / local time: 07:51:53.0 2013-06-29

Most important Earthquake Data:

Magnitude : 5.5

Local Time (conversion only below land) : Unknown

GMT/UTC Time : 2013-06-28 23:51:51

Depth (Hypocenter)  : 10 km


Taiwan – Dangerous Earthquake

Very Strong dangerous earthquake below Taiwan – 2 person killed, 1 missing and at least 21 people injured (3 seriously)

Last update: June 2, 2013 at 3:08 pm by By

Update 06:06 UTC : USGS has also changed the depth to 14 km, still very shallow. The Maximum shaking now reported by USGS is V or moderate shaking. This means that according to USGS no important damage or injuries can be expected. They are maintaining however there Magnitude at Mw 6.5

Screen Shot 2013-06-02 at 08.08.35

Update 06:03 UTC : USGS has changed the location of his epicenter which looks a lot better now than before but we call it still dangerous for damage and injuries. USGS gives also a higher Magnitude than the other agencies : M6.5

25km (16mi) SE of Buli, Taiwan
39km (24mi) E of Lugu, Taiwan
49km (30mi) ESE of Nantou, Taiwan
49km (30mi) ESE of Zhongxing New Village, Taiwan
734km (456mi) ENE of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Update 06:02 UTC : The earthquake occurred in the central mountains area but was very shallow and close to a number of villages at the western side of the mountains.

Very shallow dangerous earthquake close to Buli, Taiwan

Screen Shot 2013-06-02 at 08.00.22

4km (2mi) NE of Buli, Taiwan
32km (20mi) E of Zhongxing New Village, Taiwan
35km (22mi) ENE of Nantou, Taiwan
36km (22mi) ESE of Taichung, Taiwan
725km (450mi) ENE of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Most important Earthquake Data:

Magnitude : 6.2

Local Time (conversion only below land) : 2013-06-02 13:43:04

GMT/UTC Time : 2013-06-02 05:43:04

Depth (Hypocenter)  : 20 km

Update 15:12 UTC : A second killed person is confirmed by the authorities. One more is still missing. Number of injuries rises 21, still only 3 of them were seriously injured. Most of this persons were wounded by the rockfalls and landslides which were triggered by the quake. Also the two killed person died by rockfalls. 3 persons suffered minor injuries by broken glass.

Update 10:58 UTC : Number of injuries rises to 19. 3 of them are seriously injured.

Update 10:12 UTC : 1 killed, 2 seriously injured and 16 slightly injured persons are reported now.

Update 08:48 UTC : And yet another video recorded in Nantou (not so close to the epicenter we think), but nevertheless showing the shaking.

Update 08:43 UTC : The well informed Chinanews reports that at least 17 people have been slightly injured, 1 seriously injured and 1 killed during this earthquake.

Update 08:39 UTC : Another private video showing the damage at a house in Nantou county. Most of the houses in Taiwan have been build according to strict seismic building rules and we see in almost every important earthquake that the damage is after all limited. The house/building structure has a lot of resistance. The damage part is at the end of the video.

Update 08:20 UTC : Some of the stranded tourists are being injured

Update 08:08 UTC : We are searching for more details but most of the reports are to vague to be printed here

Update 07:59 UTC : 3 aftershocks so far respectively M3.1, M3.6 and M3.8

Update 07:58 UTC : Luckily no more fatalities at this point (lets hope it remains like this). At least 7 climbers injured by rockfall. A woman was hit by a landslide while driving with her car, she was severely injured.

Update 07:54 UTC : We talk a lot about reported rockfall. Hard to imagine what it looks like? Check the image below from one of the scenes

Screen Shot 2013-06-02 at 09.53.33

Update 07:44 UTC : Taiwan’s “Defense Ministry” has requested to complete the first five combat zone troops preparedness, disaster relief initiative to help the public. We have various reports of collapsed walls in houses.

Update 07:42 UTC : more than 1000 tourists are trapped on a mountain platform, because the cable railway was destroyed by landslide

Update 07:40 UTC : Taiwanese police reports that many people have been slightly injured by debris from ceilings.
Sunday afternoon in Taiwan means that many people enjoyed the mountain scene, which is in part the reason that so many people are trapped in these areas.

Update 07:30 UTC : Euronews reports that at least 1 person has been killed in Taiwan due to the earthquake. The killed person was a mountain climber who was killed by rockfall.

Update 07:24 UTC : these are the landslides which happened in many places in Taiwan. Hopefully you are not on the path of the slide

Screen Shot 2013-06-02 at 09.25.57

Image courtesy and copyright

Image courtesy and copyright

Image courtesy and copyright

Update 07:24 UTC : USGS revised shaking map  (now increased to VII MMI = very strong shaking)

Screen Shot 2013-06-02 at 09.22.54

Update 07:20 UTC : More than 1000 tourists are trapped in Nantou county due to many landslides. Power is off in some areas.  Cable car service is suspended.

Update 07:17 UTC : We get reports of many injuries in the Central Part of Taiwan due to rockfall. Rescue teams are being send to these locations.

for more information, go to:

Taiwan Earthquake

Strong earthquake near Nanhu Mountain (Xiulin), Taiwan on March 7, 2013

Last update: March 8, 2013 at 12:15 am by By

Most important Earthquake Data:

Magnitude : 5.5

Local Time (conversion only below land) : 2013-03-07 11:36:46

GMT/UTC Time : 2013-03-07 03:36:46

Depth (Hypocenter)  : 15 km

Update 08:41 UTC : 16 M3+ aftershocks since the mainshock. Strongest aftershock so far : 4.5 (4 above M4). No evidence of damage so far. If we would track even some minor damage, we will report it here.

Update 05:52 UTC : NO reports of damage yet (more than 3 hours after the mainshock). This is a good sign as the earthquake has occurred during daylight, earthquake response and assessment is generally much faster during daylight than during the night.

Update 05:45 UTC : Taiwan is generally well prepared for earthquakes. After many cruel earthquakes in the past, building code has been improved a lot and earthquake drills are a common issue in education. To prove their building skills, Taiwan had during relatively long time the highest building in the world, the 509 meter high Taipei 101 Tower.

Update 05:37 UTC : Below the list of aftershocks of M3 or more as reported by CWB Taiwan, the strongest one being a M4.1. Epicenters are located in the same area as the mainshock.

Screen Shot 2013-03-07 at 06.36.18

Update 05:13 UTC : Today’s earthquake was mainly normal faulting (see beachball below). Taiwan has very complicated tectonics with all kind of focal mechanisms. The Philippine Sea plate is sliding 82 mm/year from the East to the West, which is an impressive speed and which explains at the same time the many earthquakes Taiwan has.
A good tectonic overview of Taiwan can be read here  (also the University who did publish the map below).

Taiwan tectonics - image courtesy Ludwig Maximilians University Munchen Germany

Taiwan tectonics – image courtesy Ludwig Maximilians University Munchen Germany

Update 05:13 UTC : The picture below gives an impression of the earthquake’s epicenter area, the Central Mountain Range.

Taiwan earthquake March 7 2013 - epicenter area

Image courtesy Tai2

Update 04:58 UTC : We are currently scanning our many sources but have luckily not found any trace of damage as yet. Let’s hope it remains like this.

Update 04:48 UTC : Based on the reports from our readers we do not think that serious shaking damage will be inflicted, secondary impact from for example landslides are a real possibility however. The picture below shows a landslide in April 2010 after a M6.5 earthquake struck the island.

Image courtesy Central News Agency, Taiwan - landslide after a M6.5 earthquake in 2010

Image courtesy Central News Agency, Taiwan – landslide after a M6.5 earthquake in 2010

Update 04:45 UTC : Taiwan has often damaging landslides during similar earthquakes. People in this area are somewhat used to earthquakes but strong ones like this do not happen very common. The area is well known for strong earthquakes however (see map below which shows the earthquakes near todays epicenter since early 2012 only).

Update 04:36 UTC : CWB Taiwan reports somewhat better numbers with the same Magnitude of M5.6 but with a deeper hypocenter of 15.6 km. The shaking intensity was max. 5 CWB in Yilan County and Taichung City. Other intensities : see below.
An intensity CWB 5 should be read as : Strong     Indoors : Most people are considerably frightened. Walls crack; heavy furniture may overturn. Outdoors : Noticeably felt by drivers; some chimneys and large archways topple over.
A CWB 5 can be compared with an MMI VII – The JMA (Japan) and CWB (Taiwan) intensity scales are rather similar.

Screen Shot 2013-03-07 at 05.37.36

Update 04:34 UTC : The epicenter is also close to Nanhu mountain. Nanhu Mountain is a mountain in Taiwan with an elevation of 3,740 m (12,270 ft). It is one of the highest mountains in Taiwan.

Update 04:27 UTC : ER calls this earthquake moderately dangerous mainly because the epicenter is below a wilderness area, otherwise we would call it very dangerous. The earthquake was felt in a wide radius and based on the reports from our readers below, objects fell from shelves in Taipei which illustrates the strength of the shaking.

Taiwan March 7 2013 earthquake


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Taiwan — Earthquake

Moderate earthquake below Taiwan

Last update: August 14, 2012 at 3:09 pm by By

Moderate earthquake below Taiwan
The earthquake struck at a shallow 20 km depth and only at 12 km from Hualien, a city with more than 100,000 inhabitants. Hualien county is often shaken by earthquakes. The quake was felt all over the northern part of  Twain, including in Taipeh.


Strong Earthquake Off Taiwan

Very strong but luckily deep earthquake 50 km east of Yilan county, Taiwan

Last update: June 10, 2012 at 6:37 am by By

Taiwan Central Weather Bureau reports a Magnitude of Ml 6.5 at a depth of 61.7 km (the scales used by USGS and CWB are although different, USGS is using the Moment Magnitude scale and CWB the Ml Local Magnitude scale also called the Richter scale by press and public. Ml is rather accurate up to Ml7.

A very strong but deep earthquake occurred 50 km to the east of North Taiwan.
The depth of approx. 70 km had an effect that people felt the earthquake in a wide radius.
Taiwan has a very good preparedness record but has also a lot of earthquakes. Today’s earthquake is one of the most powerful since a long time, but was luckily deep and off the island’s coast.

Image and intensities courtesy CWB, Taiwan

Most important Earthquake Data:
Magnitude : Ml 6.5
UTC Time : Saturday, June 09, 2012 at 21:00:18 UTC
Local time at epicenter : Sunday, June 10, 2012 at 05:00:18 AM at epicenter
Depth (Hypocenter) : 61.7 km
Geo-location(s) :
50 km (31 miles) E of Su’ao, Taiwan
95 km (59 miles) NE of Hualien, Taiwan
100 km (62 miles) SE of TAIPEI, Taiwan

Update : Another Ml 4.8 earthquake (aftershock?) occurred at a depth of 32.4 km at 14:23 local time.  Epicenter more to the South and closer to the coast.

Update : The Magnitude values reported by the various agencies all over the world are seriously different, partly by the different scales but not completely. CWB values refer to a stronger Magnitude and a lesser depth and explain in part why this earthquake was felt so strongly in the north. gives, different to most press instances in the world, a high credibility to local skilled seismological agencies like CWB.  CWB has a lot of seismographs installed all over the island and therefore reports very accurate values.

Update : as stated below in the Experience reports we have received from our Taiwan readers, minor damage like falling objects and cracks in walls is already a certainty.

Update : Since the mainshock, CWB has reported 2 aftershocks, the first at Ml 4.5 and the second at Ml 5.1. These aftershocks may go on for some time, but as they occur the same distance out of the coast, we consider them not to cause damage.

CWB reported intensities (CWB scale)
The CWB scale is somewhat similar as the JMA (Japan scale) and goes from 0 to 7
5 CWB means in normal language : most people are considerably frightened.
Nan-ao, Yilan County               5
Heping, Hualien County             5
Su-ao, Yilan County                4
Luodong, Yilan County              4
Neicheng, Yilan County             4
Niudou, Yilan County               4
Tailuge, Hualien County            4
Wufenshan, New Taipei City         4
Hualien City, Hualien County       4
Yanliao, Hualien County            4
Nanshan, Yilan County              4
Tongmen, Hualien County            4
Shoufeng, Hualien County           4
Yilan City, Yilan County           4
Deji, Taichung City                4

The earthquake was felt all over the island, but people in the North are reporting heavy shaking.

Taiwan Central Weather Bureau reports a Magnitude of Ml 6.5 at a depth of 61.7 km (the scales used by USGS and CWB are although different, USGS is using the Moment Magnitude scale and CWB the Ml Local Magnitude scale also called the Richter scale by press and public. Ml is rather accurate up to Ml7.

for more information, and updates, go to:

April 19 Large Earthquakes

(Major) Earthquakes list April 19, 2012

Last update: April 19, 2012 at 4:00 pm by By 

M 5.1      2012/04/19     01:58     Depth  18.8 km     TAIWAN
09:58:07 AM at epicenter
Moderate shallow earthquake felt as far as Taipei

M 4.5      2012/04/19 14:35     Depth 10.0 km      OFFSHORE OAXACA, MEXICO
169 km (105 miles) SE of Acapulco, Guerrero, Mexico
M 4.7      2012/04/19 07:42      Depth 46.8 km      IRAN-IRAQ BORDER REGION
M 4.8      2012/04/19 06:30      Depth 14.8 km      NORTH INDIAN OCEAN

M 4.7      2012/04/19 05:00      Depth 32.1 km     NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
M 5.2      2012/04/19 03:33      Depth 18.0 km      NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
M 4.9      2012/04/19 02:48      Depth 18.2 km      VOLCANO ISLANDS, JAPAN REGION
M 5.1      2012/04/19 01:58      Depth 18.8 km      TAIWAN
M 4.8      2012/04/19 01:41      Depth 14.9 km      NORTH OF SVALBARD
M 4.7      2012/04/19 01:14      Depth 52.3 km      COQUIMBO, CHILE
M 4.8      2012/04/19 00:24      Depth 71.8 km      KURIL ISLANDS

Label info : M = magnitude, D = depth (km), Time = UTC – Click here for conversion in your local time.
[quake date=”2012-4-19″ location=”-80,80,-179,179″ Number=”100″ magnitude=”>4.5″][/quake]
Data sources courtesy : USGS – EMSC – GFZ – GEONET


Taiwan Earthquake

Very strong earthquake hits Taiwan causing minor damage + videos from shaking and damage

Last update: February 26, 2012 at 1:10 pm by By 

Earthquake overview : A M6.1 earthquake struck at 20.4km depth in southern Taiwan in the mountain region. Although well felt, major damage has not occurred and the national fire disaster agency has not released any reports.

Most important Earthquake Data:

Magnitude : 6.1 (CWB), 5.9 (USGS)
UTC Time : Sunday, February 26, 2012 at 02:34:59 UTC
Local time at epicenter : Sunday, February 26, 2012 at 10:34:59 AM at epicenter
Depth (Hypocenter) : 22.4km
Geo-location(s) :
34 km (21 miles) WSW of Taitung, Taiwan
54 km (33 miles) E of Kaohsiung, Taiwan
98 km (60 miles) SSE of Chiayi, Taiwan    

Update: The following (bad quality) video shows some of the (minor) damage. As could be expected in very mountainous Taiwan, also many landslides occurred in the epicenter area.

Update: The following video gives a good impression of the shaking in the high rise buildings. The footage is from China Times

Update : Numerous aftershocks have also been felt around magnitude 4-4.5.

Update : Intensity 5 was calculated in Pingtung and Chulu counties. Minor damage has been reported in Pingtung county. The greater metropolitan area of Kaohsiung has a population of nearly three million people.

Update : The Hong Kong Observatory measured the quake at magnitude 6.0, while Taiwan’s Seismology Centre put the magnitude at 6.1.

Update : Services of a high speed railway were stopped for a while.

Update : A Taiwanese TV report shortly after the earthquake struck with some images of studio material swaying + location information

Update : The earthquake happened 37km from Ping-tung. The nearest populated places are: Chin-lun (19km), Chieh-ta-ts’un (9km), K’o-la-p’a-yang (9km), Chia-p’ing (17km), Tai-ma (17km), La-chia (7km), Ch’?-nu (14km). The closest civilian airport is Feng Nin (30km).

M6.1 earthquake struck at 20.4km depth in southern Taiwan in the mountain region. Although well felt, major damage has not occurred and the national fire disaster agency has not released any reports.

The intensity of the event was calculated to be a 5 on the CWB scale – with the top level being 7. However, none of sixty-four
seismic events with intensity 5 (PGA values are between 80-250 gal) caused casualties and/or major damage from 2000-2009.

for more information and updates, go to: