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Taiwan rattled by more than 20 earthquakes Wednesday

2015/09/16 22:57:16

A magnitude 5.5 earthquake in eastern Taiwan at 9:09 p.m. Wednesday (from the Central Weather Bureau website)

Taipei, Sept. 16 (CNA) More than 20 earthquakes rocked Taiwan Wednesday, with two of them measuring over 5.0 on the Richter scale, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) said. No serious damage or injuries were reported.

The two biggest temblors -- magnitude 5.6 and 5.5 -- occurred at 3:37 a.m. and 9:09 p.m., respectively, according to the CWB's data.

The one at 9:09 p.m., along with 20 smaller ones that ranged from magnitude 3.6 to 4.8, were the aftershocks of the magnitude 5.6 earthquake, said Kuo Kai-wen (郭鎧紋), director of the bureau's seismology center.

He said there was no need to panic as frequent earthquakes in eastern Taiwan are normal and occur there in clusters at least once or twice a month.

The earthquakes were the result of a release of energy from friction between the Philippine and the Eurasian plates, which is normal, Kuo said.

He also said the quakes in Taiwan had nothing to do with the recent eruption of Mount Aso, Japan's largest volcano.

So far this year, Taiwan has recorded 20 earthquakes of magnitude 5.0 or greater along its eastern coast, according to CWB data.

Five of those exceeded magnitude 6.0, with the strongest recorded at magnitude 6.4 about 80 kilometers off the coast of Hualien County on April 20.

(By Lilian Wu and Lee Hsin-Yin)
ENDITEM /pc