An earthquake measuring 5.6 on the Richter scale struck Taitung on April 8. It measured a 4 in the Hengchun Peninsula, the strongest this year so far. Earlier, a mud volcano erupted in Pingtung's Wandan. Experts believe the two events may be related.
The mud volcano erupted at 5 a.m. and was still spewing mud at 9 a.m., leaving roads and nearby fields covered in mud. The volcano erupted at the same spot last October. The area has been closed off and local farmers opened their sluice gates to expel the mud from their fields and minimize damage.
Local Resident: “(I heard) this is the third (eruption in the same spot.)”
Ms. Chen, Farmer: “I'm using water to get the mud out of my fields. Otherwise, all my (rice) will be destroyed.”
Two hours after the mud volcano began erupting, a magnitude 5.6 earthquake hit Taitung. The tremor measured a 4 in the Hengchun peninsula, the strongest so far this year. Experts say the two events could be related.
Hsueh Chuan-yi, Director, Hengchun Weather Station: “Earthquakes cause surface tremors, which produce cracks that could expand the size of (mud volcanos). This may or may not happen.”
The weather station says earthquakes can cause larger mud volcano eruptions or shift the mouth of the volcanos. The area around the volcano was sealed off because this was already the third time it has erupted. A local resident says based on past experience, the eruption will last for 24 hours.