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Taiwan sees 150 aftershocks, another magnitude 6 possible

Wednesday's 6.6 quake was 4th largest since 1999

Taiwan sees 150 aftershocks, another magnitude 6 possible

(CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan has already experienced over 150 aftershocks from a magnitude 6.6 earthquake that struck this morning (March 23), and the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) is not ruling out the possibility that an aftershock in excess of 6.0 on the Richter scale could strike within the next three days.

At 1:41 a.m., a magnitude 6.6 struck just off the southeast coast and within five minutes was followed by magnitude 5.7, 6.1, 4.9, and 4.7 aftershocks. As of 9:30 a.m., there had already been 150 aftershocks, including four that ranged from magnitude 5 to 6.

During a press briefing that morning, Chen Kuo-chang (陳國昌), head of the CWB's Seismological Center, said the epicenter of today's quake was in the south of Hualien County. He said the possibility of triggering the Milun Fault in the north of Hualien, which caused a deadly earthquake in 2018, is low as the fault is about 100 kilometers away.

Chen said that aftershocks ranging from 5 to 6 in magnitude are possible in the coming three days.

According to Chen, the earthquake was caused by the collision between the Philippine Sea Plate and the Eurasian Plate. He pointed out that the epicenter is actually on the Philippines Sea Plate and not the actual collision point.

The seismologist stated that over the past 48 years, there have only been 15 aftershocks with a magnitude of 5 or higher. Today's magnitude 6.6 earthquake was the fourth-largest since the 1999 Jiji earthquake.