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Taiwan Shaken by 200 Quakes, TSMC Operations Unaffected

The island has now been hit by more than 1,000 aftershocks following the deadly April 3 earthquake

Emergency service workers are seen beside a collapsed building in Hualien city in eastern Taiwan after the island's strongest quake in 25 years. Photo: Reuters


Taiwan was hit by more than 200 earthquakes overnight but only minor damage was reported and tech giant TSMC said its operations were unaffected.

The eastern county of Hualien was rattled by the aftershocks nearly three weeks after it was hit by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake on April 3 that killed at least 17 people. There have now been more than 1,000 aftershocks since.

Buildings across large parts of northern, eastern and western Taiwan, including in the capital, Taipei, swayed throughout the night, with the largest quake measuring a 6.3 magnitude. All were very shallow.


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Taiwan’s Central Weather Administration said the mew spate of earthquakes which began on Monday afternoon were aftershocks from the April 3 quake.

Seismological Centre Director Wu Chien-fu told reporters that the aftershocks were a “concentrated release of energy” and that more could be expected, though perhaps not as strong.

With heavy rain predicted for all of Taiwan this week, people in Hualien need to be prepared for further disruption, he added.

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, writing on her Facebook page, called on people to avoid the mountains and to stay alert.

“When an earthquake occurs, don’t panic. Master the principle of ‘duck, cover, stay put’,” she wrote.

The Hualien fire department said two buildings, already uninhabited after being damaged on April 3, suffered further damage and were leaning. There were no reports of casualties.


TSMC Staff Evacuated

The world’s largest contract chipmaker, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC), whose factories are on the island’s western coast, said some staff at a small number of factories were evacuated, but facility and safety systems were functioning normally and all personnel were safe.

“Currently, we do not expect any impact on operations,” it said in an email.

Investors brushed off concerns about the quake, with TSMC’s Taipei-listed shares closing up 1.6% on Tuesday.

In mountainous Hualien county, some road closings following rockfalls were reported, and the government suspended work and school for the day.

Taiwan lies near the junction of two tectonic plates and is prone to earthquakes. More than 100 people were killed in a quake in southern Taiwan in 2016, while a 7.3 magnitude quake killed more than 2,000 people in 1999.


  • Reuters with additional editing by Sean O’Meara


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TSMC Predicts $60m Hit From Taiwan’s Biggest Quake in 25 Years




Sean O'Meara

Sean O'Meara is an Editor at Asia Financial. He has been a newspaper man for more than 30 years, working at local, regional and national titles in the UK as a writer, sub-editor, page designer and print editor. A football, cricket and rugby fan, he has a particular interest in sports finance.


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