Taiwan’s Science Parks Unharmed after Sunday’s 6.5 earthquake off eastern Taiwan

Magnitude 6.5 earthquake strikes off eastern Taiwan

TAIPEI — A magnitude 6.5 earthquake struck at sea off eastern Taiwan at 5:00 a.m. Sunday. No casualties were immediately reported.

The earthquake’s epicenter was located 70.2 kilometers southeast of Yilan County at a depth of 61.9 km, the Central Weather Bureau said.

There is no danger of a tsunami as the depth of the epicenter was over 35 kilometers, according to officials at the bureau.

The strongest tremor, which posted an intensity of 5, was felt in Yilan County’s Nanao Township and Hualien County’s Heping Township, while Taipei recorded an intensity of 3.

The United States Geological Survey recorded the earthquake as a magnitude of 6. The tremor struck 50 kilometers east of Suao Township, Yilan County, it said.

Within one hour of the 6.5 magnitude earthquake, two other quakes — measuring magnitude 4.4 and 5.1 — hit northern Taiwan, Taiwan’s weather bureau said.

Nuclear Plants Not Affected

No nuclear power plants in Taiwan were affected by the earthquakes, according to the Atomic Energy Council.

Taiwan currently operates three nuclear power plants — two in northern Taiwan in New Taipei City and one in southern Taiwan’s Pingtung County — with the fourth power plant, also located in New Taipei, scheduled to become operational in 2015.

Science Parks Unscathed

Taiwan’s two major science parks have emerged unscathed from a magnitude 6.5 earthquake that shook eastern Taiwan, according to the parks’ administrations.

Officials at the Hsinchu Science Park and Southern Taiwan Science Park in Tainan and Kaohsiung said that no companies operating in the complexes were affected by the earthquake.

Tu Chi-hsiang, deputy director-general of the Hsinchu Science Park Administration, said that no immediate damage was reported from the largest science-based industrial park in Taiwan, as the earthquake was felt at an intensity of 2 in Hsinchu City.

Meanwhile, major operators at the Southern Taiwan Science Park, including Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC), Chimei Innolux Corp. and HannStar Display Corp., did not report any automatic shutdowns occurred at their plants.

The Sunday earthquake had an intensity of 3 in Tainan and 2 in Kaohsiung, which normally would not trigger the automatic shutdown systems because it requires an intensity of more than 3 to do that, said Lin Wei-cheng, deputy director of the administration bureau of the Southern Taiwan Science Park.

On April 9, TSMC held a groundbreaking ceremony in the South Taiwan Science Park for a new manufacturing facility where it will expand the production of leading-edge 20-nanometer technology.

UMC also started construction in May of a 12-inch wafer plant in the Southern Taiwan Science Park to produce chips for the 28, 20 and 14 nanometer processes.

Lin said these new facilities were unharmed by the Sunday earthquake because they are designed to resist earthquakes with an intensity of up to 5.


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