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1951 East Rift Valley earthquakes

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Magnitude  7.3 ML (largest)
Tsunami  minor
Areas affected  Taiwan
Casualties  85 dead
1951 East Rift Valley earthquakes
Date  October 22, 1951 (1951-10-22) to December 5, 1951 (1951-12-06)

The 1951 East Rift Valley earthquakes (Chinese: 1951年縱谷地震系列; pinyin: 1951 nián Zònggǔ dìzhèn xìliè) were a series of 735 earthquakes which struck eastern Taiwan from October 22, 1951, to December 5, 1951, four of which registered over 7 on the Richter Scale, the largest of those being two magnitude 7.3 quakes on October 22 and November 25. Altogether the quakes killed 85 people.


Technical data

The East Rift Valley (Chinese: 花東縱谷; pinyin: Huā-Dōng Zònggǔ) is an area of rugged terrain formed by the interaction of the Philippine Sea and Eurasian tectonic plates in eastern Taiwan. Most of the area is sparsely populated by Taiwanese aborigines, but there are larger populations in the cities of Hualian and Taidong. The deadliest earthquake in the series struck at 05:34 on October 22, 1951, with an epicentre at 23.9°N 121.7°E, a few kilometres southwest of Hualian City, with a magnitude of 7.3, and was felt throughout Taiwan as well as on Penghu and Jinmen. The second quake to cause significant casualties hit at 02:50 on November 25 of the same year, again with a magnitude of 7.3, this time centred under the town of Yuli, Hualian.


The earthquake series is sometimes known by different names, including the 1951 Hualian earthquakes (Chinese: 1951年花蓮大地震系列; pinyin: 1951 nián Huālián dà dìzhèn xìliè) and the 1951 Hualian-Taidong earthquakes (Chinese: 1951年花蓮–台東地震系列; pinyin: 1951 nián Huālián-Táidōng dìzhèn xìliè) - both of these refer to the same series of quakes in eastern Taiwan from October to December 1951.


The total figures for casualties and damage from Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau are as follows:

  • 85 deaths
  • 200 seriously injured
  • 1,000 lightly injured
  • Around 3,000 dwellings completely destroyed
  • References

    1951 East Rift Valley earthquakes Wikipedia

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