Tainan jolted by strong earthquake

Taipei--A magnitude 5.6 earthquake occurred off the coast of Tainan early Saturday, jolting residents in the southern municipality just over a year after nearly 120 lives were lost in a strong earthquake, the Central Weather Bureau said.

There were no reports of injuries.

The epicenter of the earthquake, which struck at 1:12 a.m., was located 12.2 kilometers to the southwest of the Tainan City Hall at a depth of 18.4 kilometers, the bureau said.

An intensity of 6 was felt in Tainan, a city with a population of 1.88 million, and in Kaohsiung and Pintung to the south and Chiayi, Yunlin, and Changhua to the north, an intensity of 3 to 4 was felt, it said.

An expert of the Central Weather Bureau described the earthquake as a natural release of energy built up as a result of friction between two tectonic plates -- the Eurasian Plate and the Philippine Sea Plate.

As such, Kuo Kai-wen (???), director of the bureau's Seismology Center, said that the latest earthquake, the strongest to hit Taiwan so far in 2017, is different from the one that killed 117 people in Tainan just over a year ago.

The magnitude 6.6 earthquake of Feb. 6, 2016 toppled a 16-story residential building in the city's Yongkang District, leaving 115 people dead and dozens more injured. Two other people were killed in another district of the city.

The earthquake, the epicenter of which was located in Kaohsiung, was caused by a fault in southern Taiwan.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel