Taiwan Earthquake 7 Feb 2016

A 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck Taiwan at 4am local time on 7 Feb 2016.

The earthquake started at Kaohsiung but why was the impact greater at Tainan?

The damage at the epicentre Kaohsiung was much lower than Tainan due to the softer soil at Tainan. The impact was also greater as the earthquake  was shallow at a depth of 10km. Many families were at home as it is the eve of lunar new year and casualties were higher as they were sleeping at the time when earthquake struck and were not able to respond or evacuate on time.

The collapse of buildings have caused more deaths and injuries. Queries are made on the structure of the buildings, especially when tin cans were found in the construction. Most new buildings in Taiwan are built to withstand quake of magnitude 5 to 6. The president of Taiwan said that the government will tighten regulation on building construction.
Other than strengthening buildings, what are the other ways to mitigate the impact of earthquakes?

Rescue work is still in progress and is one of the most important short term response.
What are the other short and long term responses?

Earthquake is common as Taiwan lies at the plate boundary of the Eurasian and Philippines Plate.


Why does earthquake occur at the plate boundary?
Why is earthquake a hazard?
Why does the damage from earthquake differ?

A 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Papua New Guinea's Bougainville Island early Tuesday (Feb 9). The quake hit some 96 kilometres southwest of Panguna at 2.19am (12.19am Singapore time), according to the US Geological Survey. The epicentre was 102 kilometres southwest of the larger town of Arawa also on Bougainville Island and USGS said it was 32 kilometres deep, which is considered shallow. Quakes are common on the island nation, which lies on the 4,000-kilometre-long Pacific Australia plate, which forms part of the "Ring of Fire", a hotspot for seismic activity due to friction between tectonic plates.  http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/6-3-magnitude-earthquake/2499350.html

The earthquake which struck Papua New Guinea has the same magnitude as the one which struck Taiwan. Why are there more damages and casualties in Taiwan? 

Another earthquake struck Chile at 7.33 pm 9 Feb (0033 GMT Wednesday 10 Feb) 326 km north-northwest of Santiago, the USGS said. It had a depth of 31.5 km. There was no immediate reports of damage and injuries. 

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