Friday, 19 April 2019

Magnitude 6.1 Earthquake beneath eastern Taiwan.

The Taiwan Central Weather Bureau reported a Magnitude 6.1 Earthquake at a depth of 18.8 km roughly 10.6 km to the northeast of the city of Hauling in eastern Taiwan slightly after 1.00 pm local time (slightly after 5.00 am GMT) on Wednesday 3Friday 18 April 2019. Fifteen injuries have been reported following this event, including two tourists hit by a rockfall while hiking in the Taroko Gorge National Park, and minor damage was reported in a number of locations, including burst water pipes near Hualing rail station and minor structural damage to buildings in Taipei. The quake was felt across Taiwan, and in parts of the Chinese mainland.

Damage to a private apartment in Taipei caused by an Earthquake on 18 April 2019. AP.

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.

Witness accounts of Earthquakes can help geologists to understand these events, and the structures that cause them. The international non-profit organisation Earthquake Report is interested in hearing from people who may have felt this event; if you felt this quake then you can report it to Earthquake Report here.

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