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Eastern Taiwan's Hualien rattled by 26 quakes overnight

2012/06/15 13:39:42

Taipei, June 15 (CNA) A total of 26 earthquakes ranging between magnitude 2.9 and 5.4 on the Richter scale jolted Hualien County in eastern Taiwna before dawn Friday, but there were no reports of casualties or major damage, according to the Central Weather Bureau.

The strongest quake hit at 0:15 a.m. with the epicenter located at sea some 31.5 kilometer south of the Hualien County Hall, the bureau's Seismology Center said. The earthquake was felt at an intensity of 6 in the county's coastal area of Jichi, the center said.

That tremor was followed by 25 others until 4:39 a.m., including one of magnitude 4.9 that struck at 3:30 a.m. and was centered in the county's Shoufeng Township.

A total of 31 earthquakes rattled Hualien County in the period ofnoon Thursday to 5 a.m. Friday, with 16 of them centered in Shoufeng Township, six in Fenglin and four in Guangfu townships, the Seismology Center said.

All of those quakes occurred at shallow depths of less than 10 km beneath the earth's surface, with the deepest one at 10.7 km, the center reported.

"We are closely monitoring the seismic movements in the Hualien area," said a Seismology Center official.

He also reminded local residents to stay alert for quake news updates.

The Hualien Firefighting Department said it had not received any reports of major damage except for some blockage of mountain roads caused by falling rocks, which were all cleared before daybreak.

Scores of 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 the east coast June 10. None of the quakes have caused casualties or major damage. Taiwan is located in the Pacific Ring of Fire, which is a seismically active zone.

(By Lin Shen-hsu and Sofia Wu)