Earthquakes in Taiwan Linked to Powerful Tropical Storm: Study

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Earthquakes in Taiwan Linked to Powerful Tropical Storm: Study

Earthquakes in Taiwan Linked to Powerful Tropical Storm: Study

POTSDAM, GERMANY — Typhoons that routinely hit Taiwan may increase or exacerbate earthquakes across the island, according to a new study.

Writing in Scientific Reports, the German Research Centre for Geosciences states that Taiwan is known to experience frequent earthquakes because it lays astride the Philippine Sea and the Asian continental plates.

According to the researchers, 2009's Typhoon Morakot was one of the worst typhoons in Taiwan's history.

The storm caused landslides and moved huge loads of material into the island's rivers.

Morakot removed significant quantities of debris on top of Taiwan's active mountain ranges and pushed rock units against one another.

As the rocks crack, the breakage leads to shallow earthquakes that the team detected in the 2.5 years after the storm.

In a news release, the researchers say their study is the first proof that massive erosion from storms may trigger seismic activity, which is the reverse of what usually happens.

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