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Too few earthquakes in Taiwan so far to release energy: CWB

2017/09/21 13:53:06

Taipei, Sept. 21 (CNA) Taiwan has seen fewer earthquakes with a magnitude of 4.0 or higher on the Richter scale so far this year compared with previous years, which is not good for proper energy release, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) said Thursday.

Taiwan usually experiences more than 100 temblors on that kind of scale each year, but as of Thursday, there had been only 42 episodes, said Kuo Kai-wen (郭鎧紋), director of the bureau's Seismology Center.

According to the center, among the 42 earthquakes, 10 measured at least 5.0, including one of over 6.0.

However, Taiwan usually sees an average of 33 earthquakes with a scale of 5.0, including three of over 6.0, each year, the center said.

This means that there have been too few minor earthquakes so far, which could lead to an accumulation of energy and possibly more powerful temblors, Kuo explained.

Thursday was the 18th anniversary of the Jiji earthquake that hit central Taiwan. The tremor, which measured 7.3 on the Richter scale, took 2,415 lives.

Between the Jiji earthquake in 1999 and last year, Taiwan has seen some 150 temblors with a magnitude of 4.0 or higher each year, except for 2007, when only 91 episodes were recorded.

The number of earthquakes in that category has been on the decline, however, with 2015 and 2016 each reporting only 100 and 110 such cases, according to CWB data.

(By Wang Shu-fen and Lee Hsin-Yin)