Wednesday, 18 September, 2019

Powerful 6.1 magnitude quake hits Taiwan, shaking buildings in the capital

Strong M6.7 earthquake hits Taiwan's Hualien County Earthquake hits eastern Taiwan, ‘swaying & shaking’ buildings in Taipei
Patty Aguilar | 18 April, 2019, 17:45

A strong quake shook eastern Taiwan on Thursday afternoon, causing scattered light damage in the capital and along the eastern coast.

One multi-storey building was reported to be leaning against its neighbour, the city's subway system suspended service, and schools along the east coast were evacuated.

The magnitude 6.1 natural disaster hit Hualien County in eastern Taiwan, with an intensity level of 7 - the highest on Taiwan's intensity scale - felt in Hualien, 5 in New Taipei and 4 in Taipei.

The Central Weather Bureau and the U.S. Geological Survey put the preliminary magnitude at 6.1. TV footage showed at least one landslide in a lightly populated area.

Two hikers in the famed Taroko National Park, including one from Malaysia, were injured by falling rocks, the Hualien government reported.

The quake shook buildings in the capital, Taipei, which is about 115 kilometers (71 miles) away.

Operations on all lines of the Taipei Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system were suspended for 90 minutes in the wake of the natural disaster.

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At the leaning building in downtown Taipei, area resident Ayumi Lin said the earthquakes force was considerable.

A person livestreaming from the Hualien train station on Twitter said, "everything just started shaking really bad", but added that he has not seen any ambulances. The quake, which was the most severe in the region in 67 years, was followed by more than 60 aftershocks within eight hours.

One witness said: "There was one big shake that got us moving, I was only on the 2nd floor, can't imagine higher".

A building on Chang An East Road was found to have tilted, leading to the evacuation of more than 30 people to a nearby park.

People in Chinese cities close to the Taiwan Strait dividing Taiwan from mainland China reported on social media that they also felt the quake. Two years before then, an apartment collapsed in Tainan from an quake, killing 115 people.

In February past year, a devastating 6.4-magnitude quake rocked Hualien, toppling buildings, ripping large fissures in roads and unleashing panic among the roughly 100,000 residents.

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