A Chinese tectonic weapon test? Taiwan rocked by 7.4 magnitude earthquake, leaving at least 9 dead and nearly 1,000 injured

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The strongest quake to hit the island in 25 years left dozens of others trapped. I wonder if this was a Chinese test of new tectonic weapon?

Deadly earthquake hits Taiwan
Deadly earthquake hits Taiwan

A strong earthquake rocked Taiwan early Wednesday, toppling buildings and leaving at least nine dead, dozens of others trapped and nearly 1,000 people injured, officials there say.

The magnitude 7.4 earthquake was the most powerful to hit the island in 25 years, damaging buildings, causing landslides and knocking out power for thousands of people.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the quake was centered about 15 miles south of Hualien City and struck just before 8 a.m. local time. It triggered a tsunami warning and was followed by at least 76 aftershocks in less than five hours, according to Taiwanese officials.

People are accustomed to regular quakes in Taiwan, which according to the Associated Press has some of the world’s most advanced preparedness systems. “But authorities said they had expected a relatively mild earthquake and accordingly did not send out alerts,” the AP reported. “The eventual temblor was strong enough to scare even people who are used to such shaking.”

Two buildings and a major highway in Hualien, a city on Taiwan’s eastern coast, saw extensive damage. A 10-story residential and commercial building in Hualien, called the Uranus Building, partially collapsed. Many of its residents managed to escape, but others were feared missing.

One video shared widely on social media showed the building leaning to one side, stunning onlookers.

Other videos showed cars and buses swaying on a highway during the morning rush hour, and drivers coming to a halt on a trembling roadway.

Television footage showed people, including a toddler, climbing through windows of another partially collapsed building as rescue workers raced to evacuate it.

According to Taiwan’s fire department, the death toll from Wednesday’s quake stands at 9, while 70 people, all in Hualien County, remain trapped. At least 963 others were injured, fire officials said.

Among those killed were three hikers, who were hit by falling rocks on a trail in Taroko National Park. The AP reported that a van driver died in the same area when boulders from a rockslide triggered by the quake hit the vehicle.

The fire department said 64 people were trapped in one rock quarry, and six in another.

Tectonic weapon

A tectonic weapon is a hypothetical device or system which could trigger earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, or other seismic events in specified locations by interfering with the Earth’s natural geological processes. Though no such device is known to have been built, tectonic weapons have occasionally appeared as plot devices in works of fiction.

Theoretically, the tectonic weapon functions by creating a powerful charge of elastic energy in the form of deformed volume of the Earth’s crust in a region of tectonic activity. This then becomes an earthquake once triggered by a nuclear explosion in the epicenter or a vast electric pulse.

As to the question of whether a nuclear explosion can trigger an earthquake:

  • there was the analysis of local seismic recordings within a couple of miles of nuclear tests in the 1960s at Nevada that showed nuclear explosions caused some tectonic stress.
  • The 1968 Faultless underground nuclear test caused faults to slip up to 40 km away. The United States Geological Survey stated that it produced fresh fault rupture some 1,200 meters long.
  • There is also a theory that a 1998 earthquake in Afghanistan was triggered by thermonuclear tests conducted in Indian and Pakistani test sites 2-20 days prior.

Different earthquake bomb projects:

  • There had been two secret Soviet programs, “Mercury” and “Volcano”, aimed at developing a “tectonic weapon” that could set off earthquakes from great distance by manipulating electromagnetism. The Mercury program began in 1987, three tests were conducted in Kyrgyzstan, and Volcano’s last test occurred in 1992.
  • Such weapons, whether or not they exist or are feasible, are a source of concern in official circles. For example, US Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen, said on 28 April 1997: “Others are engaging even in an eco-type of terrorism whereby they can alter the climate, set off earthquakes, volcanoes remotely through the use of electromagnetic waves.
  • New Zealand’s unsuccessful Project Seal programme during World War II attempted to create a tsunami bomb, generating tsunami waves as a weapon. It was reported in 1999 that such a weapon might be viable.
  • Nikola Tesla claimed a small (something “you could put in your overcoat pocket”) steam-powered mechanical oscillator he was experimenting with in 1898 produced earthquake-like effects, but this has never been replicated.

Do some have them?

  • After the Haiti earthquake it was widely reported that president Hugo Chávez of Venezuela made unsupported allegations that it had been caused by testing of a US tectonic weapon.
  • The newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda of Moscow reported on page 1 on 30 May 1992 that “a geophysical or tectonic weapon was actually developed in the USSR despite the UN Convention”, but that Chief Seismologist Major-General V Bochrov of the USSR Ministry of Defence categorically rejected any hints on the existence of tectonic weapons.
  • On 8 February 2023, Romanian Senator Diana Iovanovici Șoșoacă accused the United States of having caused the 2023 Turkey–Syria earthquakes using a seismic weapon.
  • While the British Tallboy and Grand Slam bombs of World War II were called earthquake bombs, the name came from their way of destroying very hardened targets by shaking their foundations as an earthquake would; they were never intended to cause an actual earthquake.

So are the Chinese preparing the ground for Taiwan’s invasion? Was this earthquake a test of a new type of terrifying tectonic weapon? [Yahoo, USGS, Nature, Wikipedia]

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2 Comments

  1. Doubt it seriously.
    It’s too close to there own shores for one thing.Also truly believe China recognizes and understands that waking up ancient faults could spell disaster in ways not predictable.
    Taiwan is also on the ring of fire and prone to strong quakes naturally.I think the strength was missed for a reason.One not man made.Ancient faults are waking up around the globe.Its presenting in a cascade fashion.
    Like New York city’s earthquake and aftershocks this Friday.
    No doubt some countries and people would like to use nature as a weapon.Its not exactly there yet and may never be.
    Imagine trying to target a city with it and instead open a ancient 1200 mile rift valley.That type of woopsie isn’t acceptable to any country.It has but one function complete annihilation.

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