1946 Xinhua earthquake

1946 Hsinhua Earthquake
1946 Hsinhua earthquake
Date December 5, 1946 (1946-12-05)
Magnitude 6.1 ML
Depth 5 kilometres (3 mi)

23°06′N 120°18′E / 23.1°N 120.3°E / 23.1; 120.3Coordinates: 23°06′N 120°18′E / 23.1°N 120.3°E / 23.1; 120.3

Countries or regions Taiwan, Republic of China
Casualties 74 dead

The 1946 Hsinhua earthquake (Chinese: 1946年新化大地震; pinyin: 1946 nián Xīnhuà dà dìzhèn), also referred to as the 1946 Tainan earthquake (Chinese: 1946年台南大地震; pinyin: 1946 nián Táinán dà dìzhèn) was a magnitude 6.1 earthquake which hit Tainan County (now part of Tainan City), Taiwan, on December 5, 1946 at 06:47. The quake claimed 74 lives and was the eighth deadliest earthquake in twentieth century Taiwan.

Technical details

The 6.1 ML earthquake struck at 06:47 CST on Thursday December 5, 1946, as people in the area were waking up and preparing breakfast. The epicentre was in Hsinhua in the centre of Tainan County at a relatively shallow depth of 5 kilometres (3 mi); the rupture responsible was the Hsinhua fault (Chinese: 新化斷層; pinyin: Xīnhuà duàncéng). Government geologists in Taiwan believe this fault may have been active a number of times during the (current) Holocene era.[1] There was one major aftershock, on December 17, which measured 5.7 on the Richter scale but caused no additional casualties.[2]


According to Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau, there were 74 people killed by the quake, with 200 people seriously injured and 274 lightly injured. 1,971 dwellings were completely destroyed, while a further 2,084 dwellings were partially destroyed.[2] Soil liquefaction and sand boils were observed in central Tainan County, and there was widespread damage to railways, roads, farmland, water pipes and bridges.[2] As the disaster came just a year into the new Kuomintang rule in Taiwan, it served as a test for the new government. It was the most serious earthquake in Tainan County in 84 years.[3][4]

See also


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