'Swarm' of 19 earthquakes strike eastern Taiwan on Tuesday

Taiwan sees 'earthquake swarm' of 19 temblors on Tuesday, with largest being a 4.7

CWB map of today's magnitude 4.7 quake.

CWB map of today's magnitude 4.7 quake.

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Taiwan has seen 19 earthquakes today (Feb. 6) all occurring just off the coast of Hualien, with the largest so far a magnitude 4.7 temblor, which stuck at 1:09 p.m., according to the Central Weather Bureau (CWB).

The epicenter of the 4.7 quake was 24.6 kilometers north, northeast of Hualien County hall at a relatively shallow depth of 9.7 kilometers.

An intensity level of 5 was felt in Hualien County, Yilan County registered an intensity level of 4, Nantou saw an intensity level of 3, and Taichung City and New Taipei City recorded an intensity level of 2. An intensity level of 1 was felt in Taoyuan, Miaoli County, Hsinchu County, Taipei City, Changhua County, Yunlin County, and Taitung County.

At the time of publication, Taiwan had registered 19 earthquakes today, with all the tremors clustered around the same area off the coast of Hualien. No injuries were reported at the time of publication.

On Feb. 4, there were 28 earthquakes recorded coming from just off the coast of Hualien, with 12 occurring in a single hour, the largest of which was a magnitude 5.8 temblor. The pattern continued with ten more earthquakes on Monday, the largest of which being a magnitude 5.0 quake.

Experts say that the temblors are being caused by the Philippine Sea Plate subsiding under the Eurasian Plate.

National Central University Institute of Applied Geology professor Lee Chyi-tyi (李錫堤) describes this cluster of earthquakes as a "earthquake swarm" and postulates that this could be harbinger of a 100-year earthquake cycle in which Taiwan could see a magnitude 8 earthquake within a decade.

Located along the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, Taiwan uses an intensity scale of 1 to 7, which gauges the degree to which a quake is felt in a specific location.