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WorldEarthquakes shake Taiwan again, weeks after strong one that killed 13

Earthquakes shake Taiwan again, weeks after strong one that killed 13


TAIPEI, Taiwan, Apr 23: A cluster of earthquakes struck the island republic of Taiwan early Tuesday, the strongest having a magnitude of 6.1, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

There were no reports of casualties in the quakes, although there were further damages to two multi-story buildings that had been evacuated following a magnitude 7.4 quake that hit the island earlier this month, killing 13 people and injuring over 1,000. That earthquake was centered along the coast of the rural and mountainous Hualien County.

It was the strongest earthquake in the past 25 years in Taiwan and was followed by hundreds of aftershocks

According to the USGS, Tuesday's quake of 6.1 magnitude had its epicenter 28 kilometers (17.5 miles) south of the city of Hualien, at a dept of 10.7 kilometers. The half-dozen other quakes ranged from magnitude 4.5 to magnitude 6, all near Hualien. Taiwan's own earthquake monitoring center put the magnitudes of the initial quake at 6.3. Such small discrepancies are common between monitoring stations.

The largest among them were two earthquakes of magnitude 6.0 and 6.3 that occurred at 2:26 a.m. and 2:32 a.m. Tuesday, respectively, according to the Taiwan center. Numerous of the scores of aftershocks could be felt on the upper floors of a apartment buildings in the capital Taipei, about 150 kilometers (93 miles) across steep mountains to the northwest.

The Full Hotel in downtown Hualien partially collapsed during the quakes and was left leaning at a severe angle, However, it had been undergoing renovations and was unoccupied at the time. The nearby Tong Shuai Building was also empty, having been marked for demolition after being heavily damaged in the April 3 quake.

Schools and offices in Hualien and the surrounding county were ordered closed on Tuesday as hundreds of aftershocks continued to strike on land and just off the coast in the Pacific Ocean, the vast majority below magnitude 3.

Taiwan is no stranger to powerful earthquakes yet their toll on the high-tech island's 23 million residents has been relatively contained thanks to its excellent earthquake preparedness, experts say. The island also has strict construction standards and widespread public campaigns about earthquakes.

In 1999, a magnitude 7.7 earthquake in Taiwan killed 2,400 people. (Age


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