Home Indo-Pacific TSMC Operations Unaffected By Aftershocks In Taiwan

TSMC Operations Unaffected By Aftershocks In Taiwan

Aftermath of an earthquake, in Hualien
Workers demolish a damaged building following an earthquake, in Hualien, Taiwan April 6, 2024. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Eastern Taiwan, specifically Hualien County, experienced over 200 aftershocks late on Monday and into early Tuesday, following a significant earthquake. Despite the frequent seismic activity, only minor damage was reported, and there were no casualties. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC), the world’s largest chipmaker, confirmed that its operations were unaffected.

TSMC noted that while some employees were evacuated as a precaution, all critical systems remained operational and all staff were accounted for safely. Financial markets seemed undisturbed by the seismic events, with TSMC shares rising by 1.6% the following day. Additionally, some road closures due to rockfalls were enforced in the mountainous regions of Hualien, and educational and work activities were suspended for safety

Hualien, a mostly rural and thinly populated area, was previously struck by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake on April 3, which resulted in the deaths of at least 17 people. Since then, the region has felt more than 1,000 aftershocks. The most recent and largest of these aftershocks registered at 6.3 magnitude, affecting a wide area including the capital Taipei, causing buildings to sway throughout the night.

A resident of Taipei, Aden Peng, described the intense shaking during the early hours, highlighting the dilemma faced by many during such frightening moments. Despite the fear, he chose to stay put, a decision guided by past experiences and exhaustion.

The Central Weather Administration has classified these recent tremors as aftershocks of the April 3 quake. Wu Chien-fu, the director of the Seismological Centre, explained that these are part of a “concentrated release of energy” and more could be expected, though likely less intense.

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In addition to the seismic activity, heavy rain is forecast across Taiwan this week, prompting further warnings for preparedness, especially in quake-hit areas like Hualien.

In response to the ongoing seismic activity, Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen urged the public to stay clear of mountainous areas and remain vigilant, reinforcing safety protocols for earthquake situations.

Further impacts of the quake included additional damage to two already compromised buildings in Hualien, as reported by the local fire department.

Taiwan’s geographical position near the convergence of two tectonic plates makes it susceptible to earthquakes, a reality underscored by past tragedies in 1999 and 2016.

With Inputs From Reuters