Magnitude 6.1 earthquake shakes Taiwan

Breaking news: updates expected.

A 6.1 magnitude shallow earthquake centered in Hualien County shook the whole island of Taiwan in the early afternoon, injuring two, and causing minor damage to some roads and buildings today, April 18.

Two people were injured, including a Malaysian tourist, when rocks tumbled onto a hiking trail in Hualien County’s Taroko Gorge.

police help injured tourists on hiking trail
Police attend to injured hikers in Taroko Gorge, Hualien County, after a rockfall caused by an earthquake, April 18, 2019.

Train services stopped on the east coast railway line, Taipei Metro, and the High Speed Rail, according to standard operating procedures as track inspections are carried out in the wake of the temblor, which struck at 1:01pm.

Train services between Taitung and Hualien were suspended after an electricity pole on the line was found leaning over and requiring repair, according to Liberty Times Network. The repairs were completed at 2:35pm, reported United Daily News.

The earthquake was felt with the highest intensity in Tongmen, Hualien County at a level of 7, with other parts of Hualien county rocked at a magnitude of 6.

The Central Weather Bureau (CWB) reported that it was the first more than magnitude 6 earthquake to affect Taiwan this year, and shook Hualien for a total of 66 seconds.

TV news reports showed passengers running and rushing out of Hualien Train Station in Hualien City, where a magnitude 6.4 earthquake killed 17 and injured 285 February 6, 2018. Hualien City felt today’s quake at an intensity of level 5.

A burst water pipe at Hualien Station burst, flooding the main hall.

In nearby Yilan County, goods tumbled off supermarket shelves, and a gas pipe rupture was reported. Four manufacturers in the Yilan Longde Industrial Area reported water stoppages.

The Taipower Power Plant, CPC Petroleum Refinery, and Petrochemical Park operating nearby are operating normally, the Ministry of Economic Affairs reported.

Taipei City Fire Department responded to reports of people being trapped in a total of 7 elevators in the city. One elevator had 12 people trapped inside, according to United Daily News.

goods fell off supermarket shelves in Yilan County
A supermarket in Yilan County Taiwan. Picture originally published on Liberty Times Network.

According to the earthquake disaster report from the Central Disaster Relief Center, an after shock of 4.1 followed the main quake at 1:23pm.

Rockfalls were reported in some areas of Hualien, and falling rocks caused partial blockages on the Suhua Highway.

rocks on the Suhua Highway
Rocks on the Suhua Highway after a 6.1 magnitude earthquake rocked the area April 18, 2019.
books fell off shelves at university
Books tumbled off shelves at Donghua University, Hualien City.

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