Taiwan: Country Struck By Multiple Earthquakes, Highest Reaching

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Taipei: Taiwan’s eastern county of Hualien was struck by dozens of Earthquakes and aftershocks late on Monday and early Tuesday. But there were no casualties and major damages reported. Major chipmaker TSMC told Reuters that there was no major damage.

On April 3, an earthquake of magnitude 7.2 struck mostly rural and poorly inhabited Hualien, killing at least 14 people. Since then, there have been over 1,000 aftershocks. A powerful 6.3 magnitude earthquake rocked buildings throughout most of northern, eastern, and western Taiwan, including Taipei, the nation’s capital, during the night. However, the quakes were relatively shallow.

According to Taiwan’s Central Weather Administration, the string of earthquakes that began on Monday afternoon—roughly 180 total—were aftershocks of the significant earthquake that occurred on April 3. The director of the Seismological Center, Wu Chien-fu, warned reporters that more aftershocks, but possibly not as severe, could be expected and that they constituted a “concentrated release of energy”.

Wu continued by saying that Hualien residents should brace themselves for additional disruptions because heavy rain is expected throughout Taiwan this week. Two buildings that were already empty on April 3 due to damage received more damage and were leaning, according to the Hualien Fire Department. There were no reports of casualties. The largest contract chip manufacturer in the world, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), said that all staff members were safe and the facility and safety systems were functioning as planned, even though some workers at a few sites were evacuated. The island’s western coast is home to TSMC’s operations.

Tuesday morning saw a 1.75% increase in TSMC’s Taipei-listed shares as investors overcame their concerns over the earthquake. In response to warnings of rockfalls, the authorities cancelled business and school for the day and closed many highways in the hilly Hualien County. Due to its proximity to the meeting point of two tectonic plates, Taiwan is prone to earthquakes. In 1999, an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.3 claimed over 2,000 lives, while in 2016, an earthquake in southern Taiwan claimed over 100 lives.

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