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2006 Hengchun earthquake facts for kids

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2006 Hengchun earthquake
Taiwan december 26.png
Date December 26, 2006 (2006-12-26)
Magnitude 7.1 Mw
Depth 10 kilometres (6 mi)
Epicenter 21°50′N 120°32′E / 21.83°N 120.54°E / 21.83; 120.54
Areas affected Physical: Taiwan
Communications: Various countries in East and Southeast Asia
Casualties 2 dead; 42 injured

The 2006 Hengchun earthquake happened on Tuesday December 26, 2006 at 12:25 UTC (20:25 local time) near Taiwan. On the surface the center of the earthquake was about 22.8 km west southwest of Hengchun, Pingtung County, Taiwan. The center of the earthquake underground was 21.9 km deep in the Luzon Strait (21°53′N 120°34′E / 21.89°N 120.56°E / 21.89; 120.56).

Reports of the strength of the quake do not all agree. Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau reported 7.0 ML The United States Geological Survey estimated the quake to be 7.1 Mw The Hong Kong Observatory and the Japan Meteorological Agency said 7.2 Mw. Taiwan's Central News Agency reported that it was the strongest earthquake to hit Hengchun in one hundred years. The earthquake hurt and killed many people and damaged many buildings. It also damaged several undersea cables. The broken cables were a problem for telecommunication services in parts of Asia.

The date of the earthquake was unusual. The earthquake happened exactly two years after the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake that caused terrible damage to the coastal communities across Southeast and South Asia. It was also exactly three years after the 2003 earthquake that almost destroyed the southern Iranian city of Bam.

Tsunami warning


This earthquake was the first time Taiwan detected a tsunami. The water level changed only 25 cm and did not damage anything.

Warning from agencies in other areas

An early tsunami warning came from the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA). They reported that the earthquake caused a 1-meter tsunami. It was moving towards the east coast of the Philippines. The Hong Kong Observatory also reported a tsunami that would probably not affect Hong Kong.

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