Strong and shallow M6.1 earthquake hits Hualien, Taiwan

Strong and shallow M6.1 earthquake hits Hualien, Taiwan

A strong and shallow earthquake registered by Taiwan's CWB as M6.1 hit Hualian, Taiwan at 05:01 UTC (13:01 LT) on April 18, 2019. The agency is reporting a depth of 18.8 km (11.7 miles). USGS is reporting M6.1 at a depth of 20 km (12.4 miles); EMSC M6.1 at a depth of 19 km (11.8 miles).

According to the USGS, the epicenter was located 13 km (8.1 miles) NE of Hualien City (population 350 468), 74 km (46 miles) E of Puli (population 86 406), and 77 km (48 miles) S of Yilan (population 94 188), Taiwan.

There are 2 040 000 people living within 100 km (62 miles), 650 000 within 75 km (46 000 miles), 260 000 within 50 km (31 miles) and 42 000 within 10 km (62 miles).

163 000 people are estimated to have felt very strong shaking, 71 000 strong, 395 000 moderate and 20 223 000 light.

This was the largest quake to hit the island so far this year.

Residents said they received an alert nearly 5 seconds before the quake. 

The shaking lasted for about 30 seconds.

State-run Central News Agency reported Taipei city officials have suspended all subway services during damage inspections.

The main road across central Taiwan has been closed due to landslide threat.

A large crack formed in the center of a road in Taipei's eastern district of Xinyi.

Taiwanese television said one multi-story building leaned against neighboring building.

The USGS issued a green alert for shaking-related fatalities and economic losses.

Overall, the population in this region resides in structures that are resistant to earthquake shaking, though vulnerable structures exist. The predominant vulnerable building types are adobe block and mid-rise nonductile concrete frame with infill construction.

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

Estimated population exposure to earthquake shaking

Selected cities exposed

Regional seismicity

Featured image credit: Google, TW/SAM

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