6.3 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Taiwan, Toppling Buildings Amid Ongoing Aftershocks

Powerful earthquakes rock Taiwan, causing building collapses and triggering a swarm of aftershocks, raising concerns about the stability of the island's fault lines and the potential for further devastating quakes.

author-image
Rafia Tasleem
New Update
6.3 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Taiwan, Toppling Buildings Amid Ongoing Aftershocks

6.3 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Taiwan, Toppling Buildings Amid Ongoing Aftershocks

On April 24, 2024, a 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck Taiwan, causing four buildings to collapse and triggering a series of strong aftershocks. The quake occurred at 2:32 am local time, with an epicenter located 8.9 km (5.5 mi) away from Hualien City and a shallow depth of 8.7 km (5.4 mi). This seismic activity is attributed to aftershocks from a larger 7.4 magnitude earthquake that hit the country on April 3, leaving 17 people dead and over 1,100 injured.

The latest quake was followed by dozens of other tremors, with magnitudes reaching up to 6.3. The earthquakes originated in the mountainous county of Hualien, near the epicenter of the April 3 earthquake, which was the strongest in 25 years on the island. Authorities reported no casualties from the latest quake, but the continuous shaking caused many residents in Taipei, about 90 kilometers from the epicenter, to wake up in the middle of the night.

Two buildings in Hualien, the Full Hotel and the Tong Shuai Building, were damaged, with the Full Hotel partially collapsing. The hotel was undergoing renovations and was unoccupied at the time, while the Tong Shuai Building had been heavily damaged in the previous quake and was marked for demolition. Schools and offices in Hualien and the surrounding county were ordered closed as hundreds of aftershocks continued to strike.

Why this matters:

Geologists are concerned about the unusual frequency and intensity of the aftershocks, which are posing a significant challenge to recovery efforts. Many buildings that sustained structural damage during the first quake are now at increased risk of collapse. Earthquake experts say the latest "swarm of seismicity" suggests something else may be happening underground, such as the movement of fluids, which could potentially trigger another large earthquake.

Taiwan is prone to frequent earthquakes due to its location at the junction of two tectonic plates. While stricter building regulations have helped mitigate the impact of recent quakes compared to a devastating 7.6 magnitude earthquake in 1999 that killed over 2,400 people, the ongoing tremors have left residents on edge. Geologists are continuing to monitor the situation closely and work to understand the cause of the recent uptick in seismic activity.

Key Takeaways

  • 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck Taiwan on April 24, 2024, causing 4 buildings to collapse.
  • Quake was an aftershock of a 7.4 magnitude earthquake on April 3, leaving 17 dead and 1,100 injured.
  • Two buildings in Hualien were damaged, with the Full Hotel partially collapsing and the Tong Shuai Building tilted.
  • Ongoing seismic activity raises concerns about fault line stability and potential for further devastating quakes.
  • Geologists monitoring unusual frequency and intensity of aftershocks, which could trigger another large earthquake.