List of earthquakes in Taiwan
This list of earthquakes in Taiwan charts significant earthquakes which have affected the island of Taiwan.
Taiwan is in a seismically active zone, on the Pacific Ring of Fire, and at the western edge of the Philippine Sea Plate. Geologists have identified 42 active faults on the island, but most of the earthquakes detected in Taiwan are due to the convergence of the Philippine Sea plate and the Eurasian Plate to the east of the island. Most of the earthquakes registered in Taiwan actually occur off the east coast and cause little damage, whereas smaller quakes beneath the island itself have historically proven more destructive. The first recorded earthquake in Taiwan was in 1624, the founding year of Dutch Formosa. Between 1901 and the year 2000 there were 91 major earthquakes in Taiwan, 48 of them resulting in loss of life. The most recent major earthquake was the 921 Earthquake, which struck on September 21, 1999, and claimed 2,415 lives.
Many modern buildings in Taiwan are constructed with earthquake safety in mind, including Taipei 101, which had to cope with the dual challenges of being flexible enough to withstand earthquakes, yet rigid enough to resist wind shear. The High Speed Rail system incorporates an automatic safety device to safely bring all trains to a halt when a significant earthquake is detected. Nevertheless, poor construction standards have been blamed for casualties in a number of major earthquakes, including the 1906 Meishan earthquake and the 921 Earthquake. Inside Taiwan the Central Weather Bureau is the organisation responsible for monitoring and reporting on earthquakes. Large earthquakes are also assessed by the United States Geological Survey. Scientific studies of the seismology of the island started in the Japanese era, when the first seismograph was installed in Taipei by Fusakichi Omori's company.
List of earthquakes
Significant earthquakes are listed here from 1736 to the present. Starting with the Japanese era in 1895 there were major improvements in detection technology, allowing more detailed gathering of data.
The earthquakes are colour-coded according to magnitude and casualties.
|January 30, 1736||Tainan||23.1||120.5||-||~6.5||372||698|
|August 9, 1792||Chiayi, Changhua, Yunlin||23.6||120.5||-||~7.1||617||24,621|
|March 17, 1811||From Chiayi northwards||23.8||121.8||-||~7.5||21||41|
|October 13–14, 1815||From Chiayi northwards||24.0||121.7||-||~7.7||113||243|
|March 4, 1845||Chiayi, Changhua, Taichung||24.1||120.7||-||~6.0||381||4220|
|December 3, 1848||Tainan, Changhua, Chiayi||24.1||120.5||-||~7.1||1,030||13,993|
|June 7, 1862||Tainan, Chiayi, Changhua||23.2||120.2||-||~7.0||over 500||over 500|
|November 6, 1865||Taipei, Keelung||24.9||121.6||-||~6.0||"many"|
|December 18, 1867||Taipei, Keelung, Hsinchu||25.3||121.7||-||~7.0||hundreds|
|February 18, 1881||Taipei, Hsinchu, Miaoli||24.6||120.7||-||~6.2||11||210|
|December 9, 1882||Island-wide||23.0||121.4||-||~7.5||10||40|
|March 15, 1897||Yilan, Taipei||-||-||-||-||56||50|
|April 24, 1904||14:39||Chiayi||23.5||120.3||-||6.1||3||66|
|November 6, 1904||04:25||Chiayi||23.6||120.3||7||6.1||145||661||1904 Douliu earthquake|
|March 17, 1906||06:43||Chiayi||23.6||120.5||6||7.1||1,258||6,769||1906 Meishan earthquake|
|April 14, 1906||03:18||Tainan||23.4||120.4||20||6.6||15||1,794|
|January 11, 1908||11:35||Hualien||23.7||121.4||10||7.3||2||3|
|April 15, 1909||03:54||Taipei||23.7||121.5||80||7.3||9||122|
|April 12, 1910||08:22||Keelung||25.1||122.9||200||8.3||13|
|August 28, 1916||15:27||Central Taiwan||24.0||121.0||45||6.8||16||614||1916-17 Nantou earthquakes|
|November 15, 1916||06:31||Central Taiwan||24.1||120.9||3||6.2||1||97|
|January 5, 1917||00:55||Central Taiwan||24.0||121.0||shallow||6.2||54||130|
|January 7, 1917||02:08||Central Taiwan||23.9||120.9||shallow||5.5||187|
|June 5, 1920||12:21||Hualien||24.6||121.9||20||8.3||5||273|
|September 2, 1922||03:16||Hualien||24.5||122||20||7.6||5||14|
|October 15, 1922||07:47||Hualien||24.6||122.3||20||5.9||6|
|December 2, 1922||11:46||Hualien||24.6||122.0||6.0||1||1|
|August 25, 1927||02:09||Tainan||23.3||120.3||20||6.5||11||214|
|December 8, 1930||16:01||Tainan||23.3||120.4||20||6.1||4||49|
|April 21, 1935||06:02||Hsinchu, Taichung||24.4||120.8||5||7.1||3,276||17,907||1935 Hsinchu-Taichung earthquake|
|July 17, 1935||00:19||Hsinchu, Taichung||24.6||120.7||30||6.2||44||1,734|
|December 17, 1941||03:19||Chiayi||23.4||120.5||12||7.1||360||4,520||1941 Zhongpu earthquake|
|October 23, 1943||00:01||Hualien||23.8||121.5||5||6.2||1||1|
|December 2, 1943||13:09||Taitung||22.5||121.5||40||6.1||3||139|
|December 5, 1946||06:47||Tainan||23.1||120.3||5||6.1||74||1,954||1946 Xinhua earthquake|
|October 22, 1951||05:34||Hualien||23.9||121.7||4||7.3||68||1951 East Rift Valley earthquakes|
|November 25, 1951||02:50||Hualien||23.3||121.3||7.3||17|
|February 24, 1957||04:26||Hualien||23.8||121.8||30||7.3||11||44|
|October 20, 1957||02:28||Hualien||23.7||121.5||10||6.6||4|
|April 27, 1959||04:41||Northeast Taiwan||24.1||123.0||150||7.7||1||9|
|August 15, 1959||16:57||Pingtung||21.7||121.3||20||7.1||16||1,214||1959 Hengchun earthquake|
|February 13, 1963||16:50||Yilan||24.4||122.1||47||7.3||3||6||1963 Su-ao earthquake|
|March 4, 1963||21:38||Yilan||24.6||121.1||5||6.4||1|
|January 18, 1964||20:04||Chiayi, Tainan||23.2||120.6||18||6.3||106||10,924||1964 Baihe Earthquake|
|March 13, 1966||00:31||Hualien||24.2||122.7||42||7.8||4||24|
|October 25, 1967||08:59||Yilan||24.4||122.1||20||6.1||2||21|
|January 25, 1972||10:07||Taitung||22.5||122.3||33||7.3||1||5|
|April 24, 1972||17:57||Hualien||23.5||121.4||15||6.9||5||50||1972 Ruisui earthquake|
|December 13, 1978||19:23||Hualien||23.3||121.6||4||6.8||2|
|January 23, 1982||22:11||Yilan, Hualien||24.0||121.6||3||6.5||1|
|May 20, 1986||13:25||Hualien||24.1||121.6||16||6.2||1|
|November 15, 1986||05:20||Hualien||24.0||121.8||15||6.8||15||37|
|December 13, 1990||11:01||Hualien||23.9||121.5||3||6.5||2||3|
|June 5, 1994||09:09||Yilan, Hualien||24.4||121.8||5.3||6.2||1||1|
|September 16, 1994||14:20||Taiwan Strait||22.5||118.7||13||6.8||0||0||1994 Taiwan Strait earthquake|
|February 23, 1995||23:13||Hualien||24.2||121.7||21.7||5.8||2|
|June 25, 1995||14:59||Yilan, Hualien||24.6||121.7||40||6.5||1||6|
|July 17, 1998||12:51||Nantou||23.5||120.7||3||6.2||5|
|September 21, 1999||01:47||Island-wide||23.9||120.8||8||7.3||2,415||51,711||921 Earthquake|
|May 17, 2000||11:25||Nantou||24.2||121.1||3||5.3||3|
|June 11, 2000||02:23||Nantou||23.9||121.1||10.2||6.7||2|
|March 31, 2002||14:52||Hualien, Nantou||24.2||122.1||9.6||6.8||5||6|
|May 15, 2002||11:46||Yilan, Hualien||24.6||121.9||5||6.2||1|
|May 1, 2004||12:38||Hualien||24.1||121.95||17.8||5.8||2|
|December 26, 2006||20:26||Pingtung||21.69||120.56||44.1||7.0||2||3||2006 Hengchun Earthquake|
|December 19, 2009||21:02||Hualien||23.78||121.75||45.9||6.8||0||2009 Hualien earthquake|
|March 4, 2010||08:18||Kaohsiung||23.0||120.73||5||6.4||0||2010 Kaohsiung earthquake|
|February 26, 2012||10:35||Pingtung||22.75||120.75||26.3||6.4||0|
|March 7, 2013||11:36||Hualien||24.31||121.49||15.2||5.6||0|
|March 27, 2013||10:03||Island-wide||23.9||121.05||19.4||6.2||1||March 2013 Nantou earthquake|
|June 2, 2013||13:43||Island-wide||23.86||120.97||14.5||6.5||5||June 2013 Nantou earthquake|
|June 8, 2013||00:38||N/A||23.88||122.7||59.0||5.9||0|
|June 29, 2013||07:51||Hualien||24.00||122.3||8||5.6||0||June 2013 Hualien Earthquake|
|Oct 31, 2013||20:02||Hualien||23.62||121.43||19.5||6.3||0||October 2013 Hualien Earthquake|
|April 20, 2015||09:42||Hualien||24.05||122.37||17.5||6.3||1||April 2015 Hualien Earthquake|
- Map of 'Earthquakes in Taiwan', compiled from the list above.
- Taiwan Yearbook 2005, p. 23
- Yu, S.B.; Chen, H.Y.; Kuo, L.C. (1997). "Velocity field of GPS stations in the Taiwan area". Tectonophysics 274 (274): 41–59. Bibcode:1997Tectp.274...41Y. doi:10.1016/S0040-1951(96)00297-1.
- "二十世紀前(1604-1900)台灣地區的地震記載". Central Weather Bureau. Retrieved 2009-07-20.
- 二十世紀(1901-2000)台灣地區災害性地震 (in Chinese). Central Weather Bureau. Retrieved 2009-07-17.
- "SHATTERED BELIEF: Biting the bullet". Asahi Shimbun. Retrieved 2009-07-20.
- Davidson, Charles (1927). The Founders of Seismology. p. 223.
- Most recent earthquakes in Taiwan (English): Central Weather Bureau
- Most recent earthquakes in Taiwan (Chinese): Chinese Weather Bureau (more detailed than the English version).
- Details on the most recent notable quake: United States Geological Survey