TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – On the 18th anniversary Thursday of the 921 earthquake which killed more than 2,000 people, the Central Weather Bureau said that not enough quakes had been recorded yet so far this year.
The statement, in an interview with the Central News Agency, came as more than 200 people, including at least one Taiwanese citizen, died in a magnitude-7.1 tremor near Mexico City.
During an average year, Taiwan suffers more than 100 quakes of a magnitude of 4 or higher, but in 2017, there have only been 42 so far, said Kuo Kai-wen (郭鎧紋), the director of the bureau’s Seismology Center.
“A lower-than-average number of earthquakes means that pressure from inside the Earth has not been sufficiently released, and that is not a good thing,” Kuo was quoted as saying.
Taiwan usually has three tremors of a magnitude 6 or stronger, and 30 of at least magnitude 5, but this year only 13 of the former and only one of the latter occurred, the expert said.
Since the 921 earthquake, nearly each year had had between 150 and 266 magnitude-4 tremors or above, according to weather bureau data.
The most recent quake was a magnitude-5.7 tremor which struck off the east coast at 10:29 p.m. Wednesday. Like most earthquakes in Taiwan, it did not cause any major damage or casualties.