TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Key highways in eastern Taiwan were hit by rockslides, and residents reported falling bookshelves after magnitude 5.8 and 6.2 earthquakes struck the region Sunday night (April 18).
At 10:11 p.m. on Sunday, a magnitude 5.8 earthquake struck 15 kilometers from Hualien County's Shoufeng Township. A mere three minutes later, at 10:14 p.m., a magnitude 6.2 temblor hit Shoufeng Township again, at a depth of 14 km.
Fallen rocks on Provincial Highway 11. (CNA photo)
That evening, the Hualien County Fire Department announced that there had been rockfalls reported from the 34 to 34.5-km mark of Provincial Highway 11 in Fengbin Township and from the 167 to 110-km mark of the Central Cross-Island Highway in Xiulin Township from the Taroko Archway to the Tianxiang Recreation Area, reported CNA.
A boulder the size of a car fell on at the 34-km mark of Provincial Highway 11, according to Apple Daily. Motorists and repair crews alike worked together to clear the roads of debris.
Boulder spotted on Provincial Highway 11. (CNA photo)
Many local residents took to social media to report falling bookcases and broken porcelain and glass objects in their homes. Residents of Shuiyuan Village in Xiulin Township reported hearing the sound of falling rocks after the quake, and prior to it, rumbling noises, which they considered a precursor to the temblor.
The Central Weather Bureau (CWB) warned the public that aftershocks as large as 5.0 on the Richter Scale are possible this week. The Hualien County Government reminded the public to dial 119 or 1999 to report an emergency or seek assistance in the event of an earthquake.
Collapsed store shelves seen in Hualien. (Photo from member of public)