Taiwan hit by major series of aftershocks following April 3 earthquake

Taiwan has been rattled by a cluster of dozens of earthquakes that caused buildings to sway and that the government said were aftershocks from the huge quake that hit the island more than two weeks ago.

The strongest of the latest tremors, which the United States Geological Survey measured at a magnitude of 6.1, hit at about 2.30am (18:30 GMT) followed minutes later by a 6.0 tremor.

Taipei’s Central Weather Administration put them at 6.0 and 6.3, respectively.

The seismic activity, which was centred around Hualien on the east coast, caused buildings across large parts of northern, eastern and western Taiwan to shake throughout the night. There were no reports of casualties.

Office worker Kevin Lin, who lives in the capital Taipei, told newsmen that the quake woke him.

“I was too scared to move and stayed in bed,” the 53-year-old said.

At about 8am (00:00 GMT), a 5.8-magnitude tremor shook the capital as commuters made their way to work.

The mountainous county of Hualien, about 150km (93 miles) from Taipei, was the epicentre of a magnitude-7.2 quake that struck the island on April 3, severely damaging buildings in Hualien City and triggering landslides in the surrounding countryside.

The April 3 quake was the most serious in Taiwan in 25 years, but the toll was relatively contained thanks to widespread public awareness campaigns and stricter building standards.

The island of 23 million people lies near the junction of two tectonic plates and is no stranger to powerful earthquakes.

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