Friday 15 June 2012

Earthquake in eastern Taiwan.

About 15 minutes after midnight on Friday 15 June 2012, local time (4.15 pm on Thursday 14 June, GMT), an Earthquake struck eastern Taiwan. This was recorded by the United States Geological Survey as occurring at a depth of 5.9 km, 28 km to the south of the city of Hualien, and as measuring 5.2 on the Richter Scale. The quake was apparently felt across much of the island, but there are no reports of any damage or casualties; Taiwan is an extremely Earthquake prone country, and consequently well prepared for such events.

Map showing the location of the 15 June Earthquake. USGS.

Taiwan lies on the boundary between the Eurasian and Philippine Sea tectonic plates. This is a somewhat complex affair, with the two plates subducting beneath one-anther on different parts of the island. From the center of the island to the south coast, and onwards towards the Philippines, the Eurasian Plate is subducting beneath the Philippine Sea Plate. From the center of the island to the east coast and on towards Japan the Philippine Sea Plate is being subducted beneath the Eurasian Plate. This  tectonic folding places a great deal of stress on the rocks of the island, making it extremely Earthquake-prone.

Rough diagram of the tectonic margins beneath Taiwan. Angelier (1986).

See also Japan shaken by pair of major EarthquakesEarthquake shakes south TaiwanMapping the subductioin zone beneath TaiwanMassive Earthquake shakes Cebu & Negros Islands in the Philippines and Earthquakes on Sciency Thoughts YouTube.

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