Magnitude 6.4 earthquake hits southern Taiwan

Saturday, February 6, 2016

USGS shakemap of 2016 Kaohsiung earthquake

A magnitude 6.4 earthquake hit southern Taiwan around 4:00am today local time (2000 yesterday UTC) southeast of Tainan, a city with about two million people, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS). By various reports, as many as thirteen or fourteen people may have died, more than 100 may be missing, and Associated Press put the injured at well over 400.

The seism was reported by the USGS initially with a magnitude of 6.7. Several buildings collapsed in Tainan including a 17-story residential building. Emergency services said they had rescued over 200 people, many of whom were hospitalized. At least five aftershocks are reported.

The island of Taiwan lies in the Ring of Fire, a seismically active zone, near where two tectonic plates meet. In 1999 a magnitude 7.6 earthquake struck the center of Taiwan leaving more than 2,000 dead.