earthquake in Taiwan, could it affect the Formula 1 race?

earthquake in Taiwan, could it affect the Formula 1 race?
earthquake in Taiwan, could it affect the Formula 1 race?
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Written by Grande Premio

• Published on 04/03/2024 – 13:31 • Suzuka (JAP)

Late Tuesday night (2) in Brazil, already Wednesday morning (3) in the Far East, was the scene of a natural emergency close to the square that hosts Formula 1 over the weekend. After a large earthquake near the coast of Taiwan, Japan was on alert for the danger of a tsunami. Hours later, the threat was raised.

The earthquake was recorded at 8:58 am local time (9:58 pm Brasília time) 21 km from the city of Hualien, in Taiwan, at a depth of 34.8 kilometers. The strength of the main tremor was quite high, 7.4 degrees on the Richter scale, followed by aftershocks — the strongest of which reached 6.5 degrees of magnitude.

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The tremor was felt in the capital, Taipei, which is about 200 km from Hualien. According to Taiwan’s National Fire Agency, seven deaths have been confirmed so far, with at least 700 injured and people still trapped in buildings that have completely or partially collapsed. It is the largest earthquake recorded in Taiwan since 1999. At that time, around 2,400 people died as a result of the disaster.

Shortly after the impact, the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) sent a tsunami warning to Taiwan, Japan itself and the Philippines. In Japan, home of F1 in the coming days, warnings were concentrated in the regions closest to Taiwan: the islands of Okinawa, Miyakojima and Yaeyama. Yaeyama is located about 300 km from Hualien, on the east coast of Taiwan, while Miyakojima (about 450 km) and Okinawa (750 km) are a little further away.

The JMA warning came after the detection of changing sea height and strength levels on the Japanese west coast, which warned of possible waves of up to 3 m in height. A note similar to that given by the Philippine seismological agency.

Traces of the earthquake in central Taiwan (Photo: AFP)

— Tsunami waves are approaching the coast. Evacuate as quickly as possible. Waves can crash repeatedly. Continue to evacuate the region until all alerts are lifted,” he said.

Despite the warnings, Okinawa and the other islands are quite separated from the main island of Japan. The province to the south of the country, the largest and closest, is almost 650 km from the main territory and 1,700 km from where the race will be held. F1. At this location, no tsunami threat was issued.

In the hours following the alert, Okinawa only experienced the impact of a 0.3 m wave, therefore small, which passed without causing damage. It is common for abnormal wave formations in the ocean to lose strength before impacting coastal regions. Waves smaller than 0.3 m were seen in other countries and territories in the region: Guam, Indonesia, Northern Marianas, Micronesia, Palau, South Korea, Vietnam, in addition to the Philippines. But it left no damage.

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In Taiwan, in the Chenggong region, which is approximately 100 km from the epicenter of the earthquake, the largest wave caused by the tremor was noticed, which reached just under 0.5 m. The Japan Meteorological Agency has already canceled the warning of tsunami, as well as that of the Philippines.

Taiwan, Japan and the Philippines are at the center of the Pacific Ring of Fire, which runs from Indonesia to Chile and has very strong seismic and volcanic activity.

This is not the first time that a race in this category has had the impact of natural phenomena. The 2019 Japanese GP also had to make some changes due to the arrival of a typhoon. In this case, the race schedule was affected.

The article is in Portuguese

Tags: earthquake Taiwan affect Formula race

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