1935 Shinchiku-Taichū earthquake
|Date||April 21, 1935|
|Depth||3 km (2 mi)|
Sansa Village, Byōritsu District, Shinchiku Prefecture, Japanese Taiwan (modern-day Sanyi, Miaoli County, Taiwan)
|Areas affected||Taiwan island, Empire of Japan|
|Casualties||3,276 killed, 12,053+ injured|
The 1935 Shinchiku-Taichū earthquake occurred with a Richter magnitude of 7.1 in April 1935 with its epicenter in Shinchiku Prefecture, Japanese Taiwan. It was the deadliest earthquake in Taiwan's recorded history, claiming 3,276 lives and causing extensive damage. Twelve seconds after the mainshock, an aftershock of ML 6.0 occurred, centered on Gabi Village (present-day Emei Township, Hsinchu County).
The initial shock happened at 06:02 local time on April 21, 1935. The epicentre was in the village of Sansa (三叉?), Byōritsu District, Shinchiku Prefecture (modern-day Sanyi, Miaoli), with the quake measuring 7.1 on the Richter magnitude scale. The quake was felt all over Taiwan apart from Hengchun on the southern tip of the island, as well as in Fuzhou and Xiamen, China, across the Taiwan Strait. Soil liquefaction was observed in various locations, and a 3 m (10 ft) drop between the two sides of the fault was in evidence at Gabi Village. The most serious damage from the quake was located in Shinchiku Prefecture and Taichū Prefecture (present-day Miaoli County and Taichung) over a 135 square kilometres (52 sq mi) area.
A number of aftershocks followed the main quake, with the largest registering 6.0 with an epicentre at Gabi.
The earthquake was the deadliest in Taiwan's recorded history. The official reports cite the following figures for deaths, injuries and damage:
- Deaths: 3,276
- Injuries: 12,053
- Houses destroyed: 17,907
- Houses damaged: 36,781
The infrastructure of the island also sustained severe damage, with transportation, communications, and water networks heavily compromised.
Residents in central Taiwan reported that several days before the earthquake there were "signs in the sky" of impending disaster, while locals from Kiyomizu Town, Taichū Prefecture (modern-day Qingshui, Taichung) near the epicentre, reported water boiling in ground wells an hour before the shock.
The great number of casualties in the earthquake prompted a review of safety standards, with the colonial Japanese government implementing building codes of a similar standard to those in force in Japan in the wake of the disaster. Locals were apparently appreciative of the efforts of Japanese policemen in recovering bodies, given local superstitions against touching the dead.
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- Sen & Wu (1996), p. 18.
- 1935年新竹-台中地震 [The 1935 Hsinchu-Taichung Earthquake] (in Chinese). Central Weather Bureau. Archived from the original on 2009-08-11. Retrieved 2009-08-08.
- Hsieh, Catherine (26 Oct 2001). "The historical impact of earthquake damage on Taiwan society and culture". Taiwan Journal. Retrieved 2009-07-21.
- Sen & Wu (1996), p. 17.