4 earthquakes jolt Yilan; no injuries, damages reported


TAIPEI, Taiwan — A string of four earthquakes, including a magnitude 5 temblor, jolted Taiwan’s northeastern Yilan area yesterday morning, with no casualties reported, according to the Central Weather Bureau (CWB).

The magnitude 5 quake occurred at 3:23 a.m., with its epicenter located 6.9 km southwest of the county’s Nanao, according to the CWB’s Seismology Center.

The temblor also had an intensity of 5.0 in Taroko Gorge and Hoping Rural Township in the neighboring county of Hualien, according to the center.

The quake had an intensity of 4.0 in the townships of Suao and Luodong in Yilan County and at Hehuanshan in central Nantou County, the center said.

Earthquake monitoring stations in other areas north of the southern county of Chiayi also recorded the jolt, center officials said.

The magnitude 5 temblor was followed by three aftershocks before 6: 35 a.m. that day — of magnitudes of 3.5, 3.1 and 3.1, respectively.

Center officials said the four jolts were normal seismological activity that helped release accumulations of tectonic pressure that regularly builds up in the area.

Eastern Taiwan is located on a juncture between the Philippine Sea and the Eurasian tectonic plates, where underground activity is common and tectonic pressure regularly builds up. according to Kuo Kai-wen, director of the CWB’s Seismology Center.

The center welcomed 10 mild earthquakes, including a magnitude 5.1 temblor, which shook Hualien County over 15 hours from Sept. 28 as constructive tectonic activity that helped release underground pressure.