1951 East Rift Valley earthquakes

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1951 East Rift Valley earthquakes
1951 East Rift Valley earthquakes is located in Taiwan
October 22
October 22
November 25
November 25
Date October 22, 1951 (1951-10-22) to
December 5, 1951 (1951-12-06)
Magnitude 7.3 ML (largest)
Epicenter 23°54′N 121°42′E / 23.9°N 121.7°E / 23.9; 121.7
Areas affected Taiwan
Tsunami minor
Casualties 85 dead

The 1951 East Rift Valley earthquakes (Chinese: 1951年縱谷地震系列; pinyin: 1951 nián Zònggǔ dìzhèn xìliè) were a series of 735 earthquakes which struck eastern Taiwan from October 22, 1951 to December 5, 1951, four of which registered over 7 on the Richter Scale, the largest of those being two magnitude 7.3 quakes on October 22 and November 25. Altogether the quakes killed 85 people.

Technical data[edit]

The East Rift Valley (Chinese: 花東縱谷; pinyin: Huā-Dōng Zònggǔ) is an area of rugged terrain formed by the interaction of the Philippine Sea and Eurasian tectonic plates in eastern Taiwan.[1] Most of the area is sparsely populated by Taiwanese aborigines, but there are larger populations in the cities of Hualian and Taidong. The deadliest earthquake in the series struck at 05:34 on October 22, 1951, with an epicentre at 23.9°N 121.7°E, a few kilometres southwest of Hualian City, with a magnitude of 7.3, and was felt throughout Taiwan as well as on Penghu and Jinmen. The second quake to cause significant casualties hit at 02:50 on November 25 of the same year, again with a magnitude of 7.3, this time centred under the town of Yuli, Hualian.[2]


The earthquake series is sometimes known by different names, including the 1951 Hualian earthquakes (Chinese: 1951年花蓮大地震系列; pinyin: 1951 nián Huālián dà dìzhèn xìliè) and the 1951 Hualian-Taidong earthquakes (Chinese: 1951年花蓮–台東地震系列; pinyin: 1951 nián Huālián-Táidōng dìzhèn xìliè) - both of these refer to the same series of quakes in eastern Taiwan from October to December 1951.


The total figures for casualties and damage from Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau are as follows:[2]

  • 85 deaths
  • 200 seriously injured
  • 1,000 lightly injured
  • Around 3,000 dwellings completely destroyed


  1. ^ "Geology and Topography". East Rift Valley National Scenic Area Administration. 
  2. ^ a b 中央氣象局. "Preface". 台灣地區十大災害地震圖集 (A Collection of Images of Ten Great Earthquake Disasters in the Taiwan Region) (in Chinese). Central Weather Bureau. Archived from the original on 2009-08-11. Retrieved 2009-08-08. 

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