Very strong M6.9 earthquake hits southeastern Taiwan

taiwan m7-2 earthquake september 18 2022 f

A very strong earthquake registered by the USGS as M6.9 hit southeastern Taiwan at 06:44 UTC on September 18, 2022. The agency is reporting a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles). EMSC is reporting M7.0 at a depth of 17 km (10 miles).

The quake follows shallow M6.5 in the same region at 13:41 UTC on September 17.

The epicenter was located 86.6 km (53.8 miles) E of Yujing (population 16 597), 87.7 km (54.5 miles) SE of Lugu (population 19 599), 97.5 km (60.6 miles) SSW of Hualien City (population 350 468), Taiwan.

51 000 people are estimated to have felt severe shaking, 94 000 very strong, 4 547 000 strong, and 9 824 000 moderate.

There are about 1.9 million people living within 100 km (62 miles).

Based on preliminary earthquake parameters, hazardous tsunami waves are possible for coasts located within 300 km (180 miles) of the earthquake epicenter, PTWC said.

Landslides triggered by this earthquake are estimated to be significant in number and (or) spatial extent, according to the USGS.

taiwan m7-2 earthquake september 18 2022 bg
Image credit: TW/SAM, Google
taiwan m7-2 earthquake september 18 2022 bg2
Image credit: TW/SAM, Google

The USGS issued a Yellow alert for shaking-related fatalities and economic losses. Some casualties and damage are possible and the impact should be relatively localized. Past yellow alerts have required a local or regional level response.

Overall, the population in this region resides in structures that are a mix of vulnerable and earthquake-resistant construction. The predominant vulnerable building types are unknown/miscellaneous types and heavy wood frame construction.

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


The earthquake trapped more than 600 people on the roads in the scenic Chike and Liushishi mountain areas.

Four people trapped under the collapsed building housing the convenience store were rescued.

A vehicle with three passengers fell off a damaged bridge. All passengers were rescued and taken to a hospital.

About 20 passengers were evacuated after a train derailed in the epicentral area, but there were no casualties from the incident, the Taiwan Railway Administration said.

Damage was also reported at a local school.

Chip manufacturing companies said there was no impact to operations.


Estimated population exposure to earthquake shaking

taiwan m7-2 earthquake september 18 2022 usgs epe
taiwan m7-2 earthquake september 18 2022 usgs epet

Selected cities exposed

taiwan m7-2 earthquake september 18 2022 usgs sce

Regional seismicity

taiwan m7-2 earthquake september 18 2022 emsc rs

Featured image credit: TW/SAM, Google


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