A 7.2 magnitude earthquake had happed in this morning at Hualien, Taiwan. Science Media Center Taiwan (SMCTW) invited experts to share their views for the earthquake.

Expert Reaction

April 03, 2024
Prof. Chun-Hsiang Kuo, Associate Professor, Department of Earth Sciences, National Central University

In the morning of April 3, at 7:58 local time, Taiwan was suddenly hit by a fairly strong tremor. Many people received a "National Alert" for an earthquake early warning a few seconds before the vibration struck, allowing them to prepare for the quake. Over the past decade, earthquakes have been quite active in eastern Taiwan, with several magnitude 6 or higher events occurring in the scenic East Taiwan. This includes the Hualien Earthquake on February 6, 2018 (Mw 6.4), and the Chishang Earthquake on September 18, 2022 (Mw 7.0). According to a preliminary assessment of the finite-fault model announced by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), this earthquake rupture northwards, causing more noticeable vibrations in the areas north of the epicenter. This quake is the largest shallow crustal earthquake since the 1999 Chi-Chi Earthquake (Mw 7.6). Fortunately, the epicenter was still about 10 kilometers away from land. Based on current observational data, the maximum intensity on land was 6-strong, with the largest observed PGA being 1.5g (Taroko) and the maximum observed PGV being about 90 cm/s (Xincheng). Taiwan, located at a plate boundary, experiences rapid plate compression rates, making earthquakes one of the most damaging natural disasters on Formosa Island. There is an urgent need to incorporate new strong-motion observation data and earthquake science research findings into the seismic design so the code can match local strong ground motion characteristics and enhance people's safety.