CWA warns aftershocks could last a year

24 April, 2024

Courtesy of ICRT


The Central Weather Administration's (CWA) Seismological Center says a series of strong earthquakes that rocked much of the island from Monday evening into Tuesday morning have been classified as aftershocks triggered by the 3 April earthquake.


Center director Wu Jien-fu noted that aftershocks from that quake could continue for six months and up to one year. He also said that while aftershocks from the 3 April quake had been centred in northern Hualien, they have now moved south to the Shoufeng and Fenglin township area. While the aftershocks will gradually decrease, the center cannot rule out the possibility that larger earthquakes will still occur.


More than a hundred earthquakes of magnitude 4 or higher struck Hualien County from late Monday afternoon to mid-morning Tuesday. Twenty-seven of them were greater than magnitude 5. Two were magnitude six and slightly higher. National Taiwan University Professor Wang Yu says the phenomena likely indicates that a system of smaller faults underneath Hualian were triggered by the magnitude 7.2 quake.


Multiple earthquakes in Hualien have triggered rockslides, causing significant disruptions along the Central Cross-Island Highway. The area between Tianxiang (天祥) and Taroko Gorge is closed today due to the ongoing threat of rockfalls and unstable terrain. The Highway Bureau is assessing the situation and will decide tomorrow if the road can be reopened. Minor rockfalls on the Su-Hua (蘇花) Highway have Not disrupted traffic, which remains open during specified hours. Provincial road number 11, a coastal road that connects Hualien and Taitung, also remains open despite experiencing landslides.

Meanwhile, Taiwan Railways has confirmed that the Heren-Chongde section of the eastern railway line was reopened at 03:00 after it had been blocked by mudslides caused by heavy rain yesterday. People with train tickets that were not used due to the mudslides can apply for a refund within one year.


In other earthquake news, the Hualien County Government has received reports of a fourth damaged building following repeated earthquakes this morning. The reports say a two-story residential house in Shoufeng (壽豐) Township collapsed into a single story, with no reported casualties. The Shoufeng Township Office said the building had been assessed as a "red-tagged" building after the 3 April earthquake, indicating compromised structural integrity, and its residents were promptly evacuated.


The county government said it will re-open building assessment for the public, and that re-assessments for red- and yellow-tagged buildings from the 3 April earthquake will also be accepted.

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