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More minor quakes likely to hit Taiwan in coming days

2012/06/14 18:49:38

Taipei, June 14 (CNA) More small-scale earthquakes might jolt Taiwan in the coming few days after six temblors with magnitudes of between 3.6 and 4.9 struck northern and eastern parts of the country over the past couple of days, the Central Weather Bureau said Thursday.

Three earthquakes measuring 3.9, 4.4 and 4.9 on the open-ended Richter Scale hit Hsinchu County's mountainous Jianshih Township Wednesday, while another measuring 3.7 rocked the county's Guansi Township the following morning.

As neither of these two areas have seen much in the way of seismic activity in the past, there has been concern among many members of the public about the phenomenon.

In addition, all of the most recent temblors had shallow epicenters, which meant they had a higher-than-usual intensity and were felt strongly by local residents.

However, the bureau's Seismology Center described all of the quakes as being normal releases of tectonic energy and stressed that there is no need for panic.

At around noon Thursday, two earthquakes with magnitudes of 4.1 and 3.6 shook eastern Taiwan's Hualien County, the center said.

Both of the temblor also had shallow epicenters at depths of less than 10 kilometers beneath the earth's surface, the center said.

The epicenters were located both in Hualien County's Shoufeng Township, 24.9 km southwest of Hualien County Hall, the center said, adding that the strongest intensity of 5 was felt in Hualien.

Taiwan is an earthquake-prone area. More than 30 earthquakes have rocked Taiwan so far this month, the strongest of which measured 6.5 on the Richter scale and was centered under the seabed off eastern Taiwan June 10. None of those quakes have caused casualties or major damage.

(By Lin Shen-hsu and Sofia Wu)