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Seismic trend reaches Asia

By Daniel Fuchs
Published: March 2010

A series of mid-to-high level earthquakes occurred off the coasts of Taiwan and Japan from late February to early March, causing damage throughout the region.

A magnitude 6.9 earthquake struck off the coast of Okinawa, an island of southern Japan, which is part of a collection of islands known as the Ryukyu Islands on February 27.

The quake caused no serious damage other than rupturing some pipes on the island, though it did shake houses and objects in Okinawa and the rest of the Ryukyu Islands.

There were two reported injuries on the island.

The Meteorological Agency of Japan issued a warning for a possible six-foot tsunami hitting the island, though a tsunami of only 10 centimeters hit Okinawa.

The warning for the rest of the region was rescinded after the earthquake subsided.

The Ryukyu Islands experienced yet another earthquake, though it was only a magnitude 4.5 and had little effect on the region on March 7.

In Taiwan, a magnitude 6.4 quake hit the southern coast of the island on March 4.

The earthquake originated in Kaohsiung, Taiwan’s second largest city. The city was forced to suspend its subway system, as well as most activity in the southern region of the nation.

Many cities, including Taipei, experienced spotty telephone connections or power outages.

In the city of Tainan, fires destroyed a textile factory.

The National Fire Service in Taiwan estimates that about 64 citizens were injured, though no deaths have been recorded.

The quake, however, was unusually large for its location.

Both of the quakes were incredibly large for the region.

“This is the biggest quake to hit this region in more than a century, director of the seismology center of the Central Weather Bureau in Taiwan, Kuo Kai-wen said.

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