Strong Earthquake Strikes Taiwan

earthquake map
Map of earthquake location today (Oct. 31, 2013) in Taiwan. (Image credit: USGS.)

A strong earthquake of preliminary magnitude 6.3 struck Taiwan today, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage, the Associated Press reported, but strong shaking was felt throughout parts of the island state and buildings swayed in the capital Taipei. 

The earthquake was centered in a remote mountainous area, 28 miles (45 km) south-southwest of Hualian, a city on Taiwan's east coast. It originated 7.5 miles (12 km) deep and struck at 8:02pm local time (12:02 UTC), the USGS reports.

Earthquakes of this size can cause significant damage, especially with poorly built structures. Even well-designed buildings can be damaged or, in some cases, destroyed depending on the severity of the quake and a building's proximity to the epicenter.

But the damage caused by any single event depends on the quake's depth, proximity to populated areas, building standards in the region, as well as the type of earthquake. The USGS frequently updates the magnitude of an event after more data is analyzed.

An earthquake's magnitude is a measure of the energy released at the source. It is just one predictor of the shaking that may ensue, which is affected by local and regional geology. Scientists know in a general sense what causes Earthquakes but are unable to predict specific quakes.

This article will be updated if significant additional information becomes available. Find more earthquake news here.

Live Science Staff
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