Strong earthquake near the Hualien / Yilan coast, Taiwan

Hualien-Suao coastline - picture courtesy culture.teldap.tw

FINAL UPDATE 14:24 UTC : More reports from other sources do confirm that NO damage has been reported in the greater epicenter area. Taiwan houses are very well build and can take a lot of shaking compared to other countries in the world. Taiwan has a history of very deadly earthquakes and people did improve their earthquake awareness all the time.
We are closing this article and will only reopen it if new important data becomes available.

UPDATE 10:24 UTC : 3 more aftershocks with the following magnitudes : 3.4, 4.1 and 3.9.

UPDATE 10:24 UTC : Focus Taiwan News Channel is reporting that the earthquake left no damage or injuries as far as they could obtain information.
The earthquake was felt as far as Taipei, 140 km from the epicenter.

UPDATE 08:41 UTC : The following train stations and accordingly small villages are nearest to the epicenter : Chongde, Heren, Heping (distance approx. 10 km)

UPDATE 08:30 UTC : So far CWB recorded 3 aftershocks (3.6, 3.2 and 3.8)

A strong earthquake occurred near the shores of the Taiwanese counties of Hualien and Yilan in the beginning of the afternoon (local time).  The city of Hualien (pop 108,286) is at a rather safe distance of 34 km.
Taiwan CWB reports a magnitude of Ml 5.5 at a depth of 17 km. According to CWB the max.
MMI values for Hualien County and Yilan County are VI to VII (converted from the CWA scale).Preliminary epicenter location is still problematic as EMSC and USGS are giving different locations
Felt reports out of Taiwan are indicating a IV to V MMI at the western side of the island. We have no Felt reports yet from the greater epicenter area.

Most important Earthquake Data:
Magnitude : Ml 5.5 (CWB)
UTC Time :  Tuesday, February 01, 2011 at 08:16:31 UTC
Local time at epicenter : Tuesday, February 01, 2011 at 04:16:31 PM at epicenter
Depth (Hypocenter) : 17 km (CWB)
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Geo-location(s) :
30 km (21 miles) NE (49°) from Hualien, Taiwan
50 km (30 miles) S (181°) from Suao, Taiwan
106 km (66 miles) SSE (163°) from T'AIPEI, Taiwan

Links to important maps
USGS Did You Feel It Map
Quake-maps.com satellite map + I Did Feel It form
Alternative satellite map
3-dimensional view of the earthquake area (EMSC epicenter location)
3-dimensional view of the earthquake area (USGS epicenter location)
3-dimensional view of the earthquake area (CWB (Taiwan) epicenter location)
USGS historic earthquakes map
USGS Seismic hazard map
LIVE SEISMOGRAM (Taiwan Seismograph station)

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