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July 24, 2017

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Website tells users if they're living on dangerous ground

Taiwan nationals can now assess the risk of earthquakes and landslides in their areas using the Central Geological Survey (CGS) website.

CGS Director Chiang Chung-jung (江崇榮) revealed Wednesday that the Ministry of Economic Affairs had completed the task of mapping out geologically sensitive areas throughout Taiwan.

As of Wednesday, the CGS had published information about 53 geologically sensitive areas. Information on the last area (Chianan Plain), which has passed inspection, will be made public by the end of the year.

Four Types of Geologically Sensitive Areas

A geologically sensitive area can be categorized as one of the following four areas: geologically significant areas, underground water areas, active fault areas and potential landslide areas.

CGS Planning Office Section Chief Shih Tung-sheng (石同生) reported that there were 16 geologically significant areas, six underground water areas, 14 active fault areas and 18 potential landslide areas throughout Taiwan.

These sensitive areas span roughly 20 districts and about 250 townships, and encompass an estimated 5287.5 square kilometers.

What Next?

The mapping project, mandated under the Geological Act, has been underway since 2014. Over the three years, the CGS had made data available on their website.

The Geological Act requires that developers wishing to build in these areas assess a variety of factors involved in building, including impact on land and water and issues regarding the safety of the construction site.

Regardless of whether one wishes to develop in these sensitive areas, the CGS hopes that citizens can put the data to good use and can keep themselves safe, Chiang said.

Chiang further stated that people who find they live in these sensitive areas can turn to their local governments for potential assistance in assessing the area and improving safety measures.

To determine whether you live in a geologically sensitive area, click on the following link to CGS's geologically sensitive area search system, which is currently only available in Mandarin Chinese, and enter your address.

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