Taipei-The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) will allocate NT$1.7 billion (US$56.78 million) over a five-year period to survey the potential for soil liquefaction around the country in greater detail, the government agency responsible for geological survey and geoscience research said Thursday in a statement.
The Central Geological Survey (CGS) under the MOEA unveiled the plan as it released the last batch of liquefaction hazard maps produced as part of a four-year survey and evaluation of areas of potential soil liquefaction around Taiwan.
The four-year survey was launched after a magnitude 6.4 earthquake rocked southern Taiwan on Feb. 6, 2016, causing the collapse of many buildings in Tainan due to soil liquefaction and killing 117 people.
After the earthquake, the CGS established a national inquiry system in 2016 to determine areas at risk from soil liquefaction.
"That's the last piece of the jigsaw," the CGS said in the statement, having completed preliminary mapping and information of soil liquefaction areas in Taiwan, which is available to the public on its website at https://www.moeacgs.gov.tw/2019.htm.
Thursday's report by the CGS focused on the risk of soil liquefaction in Keelung, Taoyuan, Miaoli, Nantou and Taitung.
The preliminary soil liquefaction mapping is intended to serve as a reference for national land planning and selection of sites for major public construction projects, CGS Acting Director Tsao Shuh-jong (???) said.
The CGS will work in conjunction with local governments on the new five-year plan from 2020 to evaluate the soil liquefaction potential of areas around the country with greater accuracy. It will then be used to guide more precise urban planning, disaster prevention and the installation of underground pipelines, according to Tsao.
Of the NT$1.7 billion budget for the five-year plan, about NT$300 million will be allocated for next year, Tsao said.
Areas that have a medium or high probability of soil liquefaction predominate in Changhua, Yunlin, Chiayi, Tainan in western Taiwan and Yilan in the east, according to information provided by the CGS's national inquiry system.
Soil liquefaction is a geotechnical phenomenon referring to the way in which earthquake motion causes the soil to behave as a liquid. Liquefaction has been most common in areas where ground water lies within 20 meters of the surface, according to the CGS.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel