Skip to main content

Strong Taiwan quake kills 1

By Brad Lendon, CNN
updated 3:26 PM EDT, Wed March 27, 2013
A damaged building in Dali district, central Taichung city, on March 27, 2013.
A damaged building in Dali district, central Taichung city, on March 27, 2013.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • "Blind fault" may have produced 6.1 temblor
  • Fault may be able to produce much stronger quake, Taiwanese official says
  • Quake in area killed more than 2,400 in 1999

(CNN) -- A deadly earthquake that struck Taiwan on Wednesday may have occurred on a "blind fault" and that fault could produce a far stronger earthquake in the future, the head of the country's Seismology Center said.

Wednesday's 6.1-magnitude temblor killed one person and left 19 others injured, according to reports from the state-run Central News Agency. The U.S. Geological Survey put the quake's magnitude at 6.0 and its epicenter at a depth of 20 kilometers (about 13 miles). Aftershocks from magnitude 4.3 to 3.7 were reported.

Seismology Center Director Kuo Kai-wen said Wednesday's quake may have been the third large quake on a blind fault east of the Chelungpu Fault, which produced a 7.3-magnitude quake in 1999 that left more than 2,400 people dead.

Blind faults are not on the country's fault maps, Kuo said.

Interactive: Measuring the magnitude of earthquakes

"Those faults cannot be seen with the naked eye and can only be determined through special instruments or exposed by earthquakes," he said in the Central News Agency report.

Besides Wednesday's quake, temblors of magnitudes 6.7 and 6.1 struck the area in 2000 and 2009, respectively, pointing to the existence of the blind fault, Kuo said.

He said the blind fault may be more than 100 kilometers (62 miles) long, making it capable of producing a quake of more than 7.0 magnitude, which is could do serious damage.

"The longer the fault, the stronger the earthquake," he said.

In Wednesday's quake, a 71-year-old woman was killed when a temple wall collapsed on her, the news agency reported, citing Taiwan's National Fire Agency. The 19 injuries included students who were hit by books falling from shelves at local schools and a plant worker hit by a falling piece of machinery, the report said.

Other damage included cracks in buildings and goods shaken from store shelves, reports said.

The temblor stopped service on 90 trains, affecting 17,000 passengers.

Interactive map: World's biggest earthquakes since 1900

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 3:03 PM EDT, Tue September 16, 2014
For years, Morten Storm moved between two worlds. A radical Islamist turned double agent is lifting the lid on some of the world's best-kept secrets.
updated 11:34 AM EDT, Tue September 16, 2014
What will happen to Scotland's business (not to mention its currency) if they vote to leave?
updated 8:53 AM EDT, Tue September 16, 2014
The Ebola virus, very deadly and currently without a cure, is fast-spreading throughout the small West African country.
updated 9:24 AM EDT, Tue September 16, 2014
Go to any provincial city in China and you'd be forgiven for thinking the national youth pastimes are online gaming and flirting.
updated 8:53 AM EDT, Wed September 10, 2014
ISIS has captured the minds of a new generation of global jihadists. What does it mean for al Qaeda?
updated 6:32 PM EDT, Mon September 15, 2014
ISIS has slaughtered hundreds. Now nearly 40 nations have agreed to take the fight to the militants. But what can they do?
updated 4:51 AM EDT, Mon September 15, 2014
North Korea calls its human rights a "superior system."
updated 5:29 AM EDT, Tue September 16, 2014
In Wenzhou, called the "Jerusalem of China," authorities have demolished churches.
Are you Muslim? What do you want the world to know about your religion?
updated 10:29 AM EDT, Tue September 16, 2014
A number of Paralympic athletes in Ghana are hoping to use sport to change negative public perceptions.
updated 7:42 AM EDT, Tue September 16, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT