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Performance of the Taiwan Rapid Earthquake Information Release System (RTD) during the 1999 Chi-Chi (Taiwan) Earthquake

May 20, 2000

A major earthquake occurred near the town of Chi-Chi in Nantou County, Taiwan, at 1:47 am (local time), 21 September 1999, about 150 km south of Taipei. This is the largest earthquake to have occurred on land in Taiwan during the 20th century. Although Taiwan has an earthquake building code, thousands of buildings collapsed due to the earthquake, leaving more than 100,000 people homeless. The death toll exceeded 2,300 with more than 10,000 injured. Within 102 seconds after the earthquake's origin time, a good estimate of the hypocenter (23.87° N, 120.75° E, Depth = 10 km) and magnitude (ML = 7.3), and a shaking map were determined automatically by the RTD system. The result was immediately disseminated to governmental emergency response agencies electronically in four ways, by e-mail, World Wide Web, fax, and pager. This rapid information system has been successfully operating in Taiwan for more than four years. During the Chi-Chi earthquake, the rapid availability of earthquake information facilitated the emergency response. The RTD system worked very well throughout the whole aftershock sequence (several aftershocks had local magnitude of 6 or larger). Again this timely information was useful to the emergency response teams. In this paper, we briefly describe the RTD system and summarize its performance during the Chi-Chi earthquake.

Publication Year 2000
Title Performance of the Taiwan Rapid Earthquake Information Release System (RTD) during the 1999 Chi-Chi (Taiwan) Earthquake
DOI 10.1785/gssrl.71.3.338
Authors Y. Wu, W.H.K. Lee, C.-C. Chen, Tzay-Chyn Shin, Ta-Liang Teng, Y.B. Tsai
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Seismological Research Letters
Index ID 70209169
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse