skip navigation

The Chi-Chi, Taiwan Earthquake, September 21, 1999

taiwan eqSeptember 21, 1999--A major earthquake struck the island of Taiwan on Tuesday, September 21, at 1:47 a.m. local time. The earthquake was epicentered near Chi-Chi in Nantou County, approximately 100 miles (160 km) southwest of the capital Taipei. The U.S. Geological Survey reports a magnitude of 7.6. A large number of buildings were collapsed by the temblor and the Taiwan Ministry of the Interior reports more than 2,000 dead, 5,276 injured, and more than 2,600 missing and believed to be trapped within the ruins. An additional 100,000 are left homeless. Numerous aftershocks have shaken the region. The largest, measuring magnitude 6.5, occurred on Sunday, September 25.

MCEER  has prepared a Post-earthquake Reconnaissance Report.

Seismological Summary

This earthquake occurred near the center of Taiwan, about 160 kilometers (100 miles) SSW of the capital city of Taipei, and at 01:47 am local time. It was a shallow (approximately 5 kilometers) thrust earthquake, caused by the collision between the Philippine Sea and Eurasian plates.

Most of Taiwan's seismicity is at this island's eastern side. Thus the inland location of the September 20, 1999 earthquake is unusual. Because of this earthquake's location, there was minimal tsunami risk. 

-- Information provided by the National Earthquake Information Center.

For More Information

   links.gif (937 bytes)A selection of Links for the Taiwan Earthquake of 9/21/99   is available.


  Contact Us  |  Acknowledgements   |  Disclaimer  |  Copyright© 2007 by the Research Foundation of the State of New York. All rights reserved.