Taiwan’s first earthquake for 2022 a magnitude 6: some minor damage, no casualties reported

Rockfalls, minor damage to some buildings, and power and water cuts were reported after a magnitude 6 earthquake struck off the coast of Hualien County this evening, Monday, January 3.

The tremblor struck at 5:46 pm, 56.7 kilometers east of Hualien County Hall at a depth of 19.4 kilometers, according to Earthquake Report 001 of the Central Weather Bureau, marking the first recorded earthquake for 2022. With a magnitude of 6 at the epicenter, the strongest level felt on land was level four in Taipei City’s Xinyi District, parts of New Taipei City, and parts of Yilan County.

The chandeliers shaking in the banquet hall of The Great Skyview Hotel in Wanhua District, Taipei City.

Some cases of minor damage to buildings were reported in Greater Taipei, including cracks appearing, and tiles falling off walls and ceilings.

damaged tiles fallen on floor
Tiles fell from a wall at the Taipei District Prosecutor’s Office.
ceiling tiles on floor after earthquake
Minor damage at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Linkou District.

Power outages were reported in Taipei City’s Da’an District, and New Taipei City’s Sanchong District, leaving some people trapped in elevators. The Taipei City Government said that it had received 16 earthquake-related reports, 14 of which were related to water stoppages.

The Taipei Metro stopped trains momentarily as the earthquake struck, then resumed operations at reduced speed until all tracks and stations were confirmed safe and undamaged at 6:26 pm.

At the 115.75 kilometer mark of the Suhua Highway (Provincial Highway 9), a rockfall was reported shortly after 6:00 pm. One car was damaged when it ran over the large rocks and became stuck. The rockfall was cleared and two-way traffic was restored by 6:47 pm. The Directorate General of Highways warned motorists to avoid unnecessary travel on mountain roads following the earthquake, due to the likelihood of rockfalls.

rockfall on Suhua Highway
Rockfall on Suhua Highway.

Taiwan’s science and technology industrial parks reported no production stoppages, with tech-giant TSMC saying the earthquake level did not meet the standard for evacuation.

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