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Science parks unaffected by biggest quake in two years (update)

2012/06/10 16:17:54

Taipei, June 10 (CNA) Taiwan's two major science parks have emerged unscathed from a magnitude 6.5 earthquake that shook eastern Taiwan at about 5 a.m. Sunday, according to the parks' administrations.

Officials at the Hsinchu Science Park and Southern Taiwan Science Park in Tainan and Kaohsiung said that no companies operating in the complexes were affected by the earthquake, whose epicenter was located 70.2 kilometers southeast of Yilan County at a depth of 61.9 km.

The strongest tremor, with an intensity of 5, was felt in Nanao Township in Yilan County and Heping Township in Hualien County, the Central Weather Bureau said.

The earthquake was the largest in Taiwan since a 6.4-magnitude earthquake hit southern Taiwan's Kaohsiung on March 4, 2010, according to officials at the bureau.

Tu Chi-hsiang, deputy director-general of the Hsinchu Science Park Administration, told CNA that no immediate damage was reported from the largest science-based industrial park in Taiwan, as the earthquake was felt at an intensity of 2 in Hsinchu City.

Meanwhile, major operators at the Southern Taiwan Science Park, including Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC), Chimei Innolux Corp. and HannStar Display Corp., did not report any automatic shutdowns occurred at their plants.

The Sunday earthquake had an intensity of 3 in Tainan and 2 in Kaohsiung, which normally would not trigger the automatic shut-down systems because it requires an intensity of more than 3 to do that, said Lin Wei-cheng, deputy director of the administration bureau of the Southern Taiwan Science Park.

On April 9, TSMC held a groundbreaking ceremony in the South Taiwan Science Park for a new manufacturing facility where it will expand the production of leading-edge 20-nanometer technology.

UMC also started construction in May of a 12-inch wafer plant in the Southern Taiwan Science Park to produce chips for the 28, 20 and 14 nanometer processes.

Lin said these new facilities were unharmed by the Sunday earthquake because they are designed to resist earthquakes with an intensity of up to 5.

(By Jeffrey Wu)