Sunday, 2 June 2013

At least one person killed by Taiwan Earthquake.

A Magnitude 6.2 Earthquake at a depth of about 20 km struck central Taiwan slightly before 1.45 pm local time (slightly before 5.45 am GMT) on Sunday 2 June 2013, according to the United States Geological Survey. This is a large quake with the potential to be quite dangerous, and there are reports of one person being killed, describes as a mountain climber struck by falling rocks. There are also reports of a gas explosion in the central part of the island, though it is unclear if anybody was hurt buy this, as well as damage to buildings in several places.

The location of the 2 June 2013 Taiwan Earthquake. Google Maps.

Taiwan has a complex tectonic setting, lying on the boundary between the Eurasian and Philippine Plates, with the Eurasian Plate being subducted beneath the Philippine Plate in the South and the Philippine Plate being subducted beneath the Eurasian in the East. Subduction is not a smooth process even in simple settings, with plates typically sticking together as pressure from tectonic expansion elsewhere builds up, then suddenly breaking apart and shifting abruptly, causing Earthquakes.

The motion of the tectonic plates beneath Taiwan. The University of Memphis.

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