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Shallow quake in Taipei caused by Datun Volcano's magma

Collapse of magma due to cooling near surface deemed by CWA to be cause of quake

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Fumaroles on Yangmingshan. (Taiwan Tourism Bureau photo)

Fumaroles on Yangmingshan. (Taiwan Tourism Bureau photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A shallow earthquake felt in Taipei City on Monday morning (Dec. 4) was caused by volcanic activity in the Datun Volcano Group, according to the Central Weather Administration (CWA).

A magnitude 2.4 earthquake was recorded in Taipei City at 11:08 a.m. on Monday, the CWA said. The epicenter of the temblor was 13.9 kilometers north of Taipei City Hall, with a shallow focal depth of 3.4 km, based on CWA data.

Taiwan uses an intensity scale of 1 to 7 to gauge the degree a quake is felt at a specific location. An intensity level of 1 was recorded in Taipei City and New Taipei City.

CWA Seismological Center Director Wu Chien-fu (吳健富) was cited by ETtoday as saying the epicenter was located at the Datun Volcano Group in Yangmingshan. The Datun Volcano Group is one of only two active volcanoes in Taiwan, while the other is Guishan Island.

Wu said that when the magma chamber experiences volcanic activity, the cooling process of the magma can lead to the collapse of volcanic rocks. If the location of the collapse is closer to the Earth's surface, it can cause small-scale vibrations.

Monday's earthquake was a result of volcanic activity, concluded Wu. However, he did not give any indication that there were any signs of an eruption.

No injuries or damage from the quake had been reported at the time of publication. Wu emphasized that current information shows that the Datun Volcano Group is in a normal and stable state.

Shallow quake in Taipei caused by Datun Volcano's magma
CWA map of Monday's earthquake. (CWA image)