Earthquake rattles Taiwan, no immediate damage reported
- The 6.0 quake’s epicentre was the sparsely populated Hualien county and tremors could be felt across the island on Monday
- Taiwan is prone to earthquakes because of its location near the junction of two tectonic plates
The quake, which was felt across Taiwan, had a depth of 6.8km (4.2 miles) with its epicentre in Hualien county, a sparsely populated part of the island, the weather bureau said.
A national park in Hualien posted a clip on Facebook of a tranquil lakeside scene, taken from one of its camera feeds, which juddered violently as the ground began to move. “This is a really big earthquake! … Hope everyone stays safe,” the caption read.
An Agence France-Presse reporter in Taipei felt shaking, and local media said the quake was felt across the island.
The Taipei metro stopped briefly when the earthquake hit, according to one passenger, before continuing at reduced speed for several stops.
A second smaller tremor was felt about half an hour later, according to Taiwan’s central weather bureau.
“In this area [where the quake hit today] there were only two earthquakes above 6.0 magnitude since 1990 and one close to 6.0 magnitude,” said Chen Kuo-chang, head of the bureau’s seismological centre.
“The most shallow one was today’s and we think it may be linked to fault activities.”
Chen said the weather bureau was not ruling out more aftershocks above 5.0 magnitude in the next two days.
The island does not issue tsunami warnings unless a quake is more than magnitude 7.0.
Taiwan lies near the junction of two tectonic plates and is prone to earthquakes.
More than 100 people were killed in a quake in southern Taiwan in 2016, while a 7.3 magnitude quake killed more than 2,000 people in 1999.