Strong M6.0 earthquake hits off the coast of Hualien, Taiwan

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A strong and shallow earthquake registered by the Taiwan Central Weather Bureau as M6.0 hit off the coast of Hualien, Taiwan at 04:34 UTC on October 23, 2018 (12:34 local time). The agency is reporting a depth of 31.3 km (19.4 miles). The USGS is reporting M5.7 at a depth of 34.2 km (21.2 miles). EMSC is reporting M5.7 at a depth of 30 km (18.6 miles).

The epicenter was located about 57 km (35 miles) SW of Yonakuni, Okinawa (population 1 684), 103 km (35.5 miles) SE of Hualien City (population 350 468), Taiwan and 114 km (71 miles) SE of Yilan (population 94 188), Taiwan.

There are about 53 000 people living within 100 km (62 miles).

Some 142 000 people are estimated to have felt light shaking and 30 878 000 weak.

The USGS issued a green alert for shaking-related fatalities and economic losses. There is a low likelihood of casualties and damage.

Overall, the population in this region resides in structures that are a mix of vulnerable and earthquake resistant construction. The predominant vulnerable building types are unknown/miscellaneous types and heavy wood frame construction.

Recent earthquakes in this area have caused secondary hazards such as landslides that might have contributed to losses.

There were no immediate reports of damage and casualties, but the earthquake was reportedly felt strongly in the capital of Taipei, located 161 NW (100 miles) of the epicenter.

Hualien City was hit by a shallow M6.4 earthquake on February 6 of this year. At least 17 people died, 270 were injured and 800 displaced.

The February 2018 M6.4 earthquake was the strongest quake to hit the city of Hualien ever.

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Estimated population exposure to earthquake shaking

Selected cities exposed

Regional seismicity

Featured image credit: USGS, EMSC

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