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Geologically sensitive area in Hualien measured in wake of earthquake

12/26/2023 02:57 PM
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Yuli Township's Kaoliao Bridge is destroyed after a magnitude 6.8 earthquake hit Hualien County in September 2022. CNA file photo
Yuli Township's Kaoliao Bridge is destroyed after a magnitude 6.8 earthquake hit Hualien County in September 2022. CNA file photo

Taipei, Dec. 26 (CNA) A survey of the geologically sensitive area of the Yuli fault in Hualien County, undertaken after a major earthquake in eastern Taiwan in September 2022, has found it to stretch nearly 15 kilometers in the southernmost part of the county.

The Yuli fault's geologically sensitive area covers a total area of 4.4 square kilometers and passes through Yuli and Fuli townships, the Geological Survey and Mining Management Agency (GSMMA) said in a statement Monday.

A National Taiwan University survey group inspects the Yuli fault in June 2023. CNA file photo
A National Taiwan University survey group inspects the Yuli fault in June 2023. CNA file photo
A site is excavated by Yuli residents to study the Yuli fault in June 2023. CNA file photo
A site is excavated by Yuli residents to study the Yuli fault in June 2023. CNA file photo

The fault was responsible for a magnitude 6.8 earthquake that struck Chihshang Township in Taitung County on Sept. 18, 2022, the largest ever in the county. Chihshang is just south of the Hualien-Taitung border, with Fuli Township directly to its north.

There were over 70 pre-shocks leading up to the big earthquake, and the many temblors left one person dead and numerous collapsed buildings and bridges in the area.

A geologically sensitive area is defined as an area near an active fault that is likely influenced by fault displacement or surface rupture. Of the 36 known active faults in Taiwan, 22 have had their geologically sensitive areas determined, according to the GSMMA.

A building in Yuli Township is left derelict after a magnitude 6.8 earthquake hit Hualien County. File photo courtesy of Hualien County Government
A building in Yuli Township is left derelict after a magnitude 6.8 earthquake hit Hualien County. File photo courtesy of Hualien County Government
A road in Yuli Township is covered by fallen rocks after a magnitude 6.8 earthquake hit Hualien County in September 2022. File photo courtesy of Yuli Township Office
A road in Yuli Township is covered by fallen rocks after a magnitude 6.8 earthquake hit Hualien County in September 2022. File photo courtesy of Yuli Township Office
A house in Yuli Township is effected after a magnitude 6.8 earthquake hit Hualien County in September 2022. CNA file photo
A house in Yuli Township is effected after a magnitude 6.8 earthquake hit Hualien County in September 2022. CNA file photo

Delineating geologically sensitive areas offers important information related to disaster prevention, land conservation and development, and gives people a clearer understanding of an area's geological environment, the GSMMA said.

Though the Geology Act and other related laws do not forbid or restrict development on geologically sensitive areas, any development in such areas requires a geological survey and geological safety assessment, the GSMMA said.

(By Liu Chien-ling and Wu Kuan-hsien)

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