Magnitude 6.0 Earthquake Hits Hualien 花蓮9:05規模6.0極淺層地震 餘震不斷

A magnitude 6.0  earthquake hit Taiwan at 9:05 this morning. The epicenter was in Hualien County's Guangfu Township, where it measured an intensity "5-". The intensity level was a "4" in Taitung and Nantou. The Central Weather Bureau says the earthquake may or may not be related to the Guangfu fault and strong aftershocks are expected in the next few days.

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake hit Taiwan at 9:05 a.m. on the 20th. This is CCTV footage from Liyutan, Hualien. The earthquake was so strong it set off sirens and almost dislodged wall hangings. One store's counter souvenirs fell to the ground, smashing into pieces.

Tourist: “I was scared. It was a really big earthquake. We could feel it shaking upstairs.”

The epicenter of the earthquake was in Hualien County's Guangfu Township and it struck at a shallow depth of 6.8 kilometers. It measured an intensity "5 minus" in Hualien and "4" in Taitung and Nantou. Aftershocks of at least intensity 4 are expected. The Central Weather Bureau says the earthquake did not hit in a tremor-prone zone, as there have only been three earthquakes of at least magnitude 6 in the area since 1990.

Chen Kuo-chang, Director, Seismological Center, Central Weather Bureau: “It's where the plates meet, and that's why it was at such a shallow depth. Of course, we're not ruling out fault activity either because of the shallow depth. In other words, we don't know with any certainty if it was related to the Guangfu fault.”

The bureau says there may be aftershocks of over magnitude 5 in the next few days. This was the sixth magnitude 6 or above earthquake to hit Taiwan this year, which is twice the normal frequency. A fire was reported at a store after today's earthquake, but it is not known whether it was related to the earthquake.