Two earthquakes rattle southeastern Taiwan in quick succession

The landscape of Taitung County is seen in this undated picture provided by Taitung County Government. Two earthquakes occurred in Taitung County in southeastern Taiwan within a minute of each other Friday morning, measuring 4.3 and 4.9 on the Richter scale, respectively. (CNA)

TAIPEI (CNA) – Two earthquakes occurred in Taitung County in southeastern Taiwan within a minute of each other Friday morning, measuring 4.3 and 4.9 on the Richter scale, respectively, according to the Central Weather Bureau (CWB).

The first quake struck at 10:48 a.m. and the second one at 10:49 a.m. and were felt across parts of Taitung, Pingtung, Chiayi, Yunlin, Tainan and Kaohsiung.

There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

The epicenter of the first earthquake was about 36.8 kilometers north of Taitung County Hall at a depth of 5 km, according to the CWB’s Seismology Center.

The quake registered an intensity of up to 4.0 on Taiwan’s 7-tiered intensity scale, which was felt on Chulu Ranch in Taitung. It recorded an intensity of 3.0 in Taoyuan District in Kaohsiung, which borders Taitung.

One minute later, the second temblor struck, centered 33.6 kilometers west of Taitung County Hall at a depth of 6.5 km and creating widespread tremors that were felt across central and southern Taiwan.

It registered an intensity of 4.0 in the Lido tribal area in Taitung and in Taoyuan District in Kaohsiung.

In areas across Taitung, Pingtung, Chiayi, Yunlin and Tainan, it was recorded at an intensity of 2.0, according to the CWB.

Lin Tzu-wei (林祖慰), a section chief at the bureau’s Seismology Center, told CNA that the quakes were the result of energy released from shifting tectonic plates.

“They were typical earthquake swarms, which could strike in a short period of time on a relatively moderate scale,” Lin said. 

By Lee Hsin-Yin