SOUTHERN TAIWAN was hit by a 6.4 earthquake this morning local time which led to all sorts of disruptions in the southern parts of the island. The good news is that no one was seriously hurt, but the quake cause a lot of damage to buildings and infrastructure.
The largest tremor hit at 8.18am local time, but there have been several aftershocks during the day and are still ongoing, of which the biggest was a 5.7 on the Richter scale. Taiwan gets hit regularly by earthquakes, but most of them are fairly small and localized, however today’s earthquake was the largest one so far this year. Fortunately the epicentre wasn’t in a densely populated area, but nearby cities was still hit by magnitudes of 4 or 5.
Tainan and Kaohsiung are two major cities that are located near the epicentre and both are home to science parks where much of Taiwan’s electronics are made. Chi Mei, one of Taiwan’s largest LCD panel manufacturers, suffered damages and delays to its production along with AU Optronics, which is Taiwan’s largest manufacturer of LCD panels. However, both have issued statements that the quake didn’t cause any significant impact on manufacturing.
UMC on the other hand suffered damages of an estimated $1.7 million and has suffered at least a day’s worth of production delays at its 12-inch wafer factory in Tainan. However, UMC has called on its Singapore factory to help meet shipment demands. TSMC has suffered about a day and a half worth of production delays due to the quake in its Tainan based fabs, but TSMC’s largest facilities are based in Hsinchu and didn’t suffer any real damage.
Many other companies have also been hit by production delays, although this isn’t the only problem the quake caused, as many buildings and roads have also collapsed. Damage was also caused to railway bridges which resulted in very low speed limits being imposed on all railway traffic in that area of the island. All this damage to the infrastructure in the southern parts of the island will potentially lead to further delays to shipments of goods, not just inside Taiwan, but also potentially out of Taiwan as well.S|A
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