Aftershocks to exceed 10,000

Prepared for internet by Vietnamese Missionaries in Taiwan

Taipei, Sept. 30, 1999 - Ten days after the Sept. 21, 1999's earthquake, aftershocks have totalled 9,753, according to the Central Weather Bureau. An aftershock with a magnitude of 5 took place on Sept. 30, 1999 at 9:04 am, east of Taichung. The second aftershock of 4.8 occured at 11:11 am, in Miaoli County. The third one, measuring 4.6, struck at 17:28 pm near Ali Mountain.

Even though both the magnitude and the frequency of aftershocks have been decreasing, the weather bureau expects the recent string of aftershocks to last for another month and warned the public to stay clear of dangerous areas.

On the prevention side, a debate has been brewing regarding construction laws in Taiwan. The Executive Yuan has requested the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) to propose a law regulating the requirements of building construction in Taiwan. Under this new law, all new building plans will need to be reviewed by a seismologist to receive a construction permit.

Governors at the Construction and Planning Administration stated that a law had been passed in 1997 for bidding buildings to be built within 30-to-100 kilometers of a seismic fault line. However, this law has not been enforced because the seismic fault maps available so far are not accurate.

In the opinion of architectural experts in the private sector, the "Taiwan Fault Distribution Map" published by the central seismic study center of the MOEA was too rough for industrial use. The time needed to produce a much more detailed map is projected to be three to four years.

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