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Hong Kong shaken awake as 3.4-magnitude earthquake rattles city

More than 1,200 people in Hong Kong felt vibrations after a magnitude 3.4 earthquake struck near the coast of Southeastern China early on Sunday morning, waking some people from their sleep.

The Hong Kong Observatory said initial analysis indicated the quake had taken place at 6.55am, while the China Earthquake Networks Centre measured the quake at 3.5.

“The epicentre located near 22.08N, 113.86E, about 41 kilometres southwest of the Hong Kong Observatory [in Tsim Sha Tsui],” the observatory said on its website.

According to the map, the epicentre was southeast of Guishan Island.

“Initial estimates gave a local intensity of four on the Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale, that is hanging objects swing. Windows, dishes, doors rattle,” the observatory added.

It was the second time in as many months that an earthquake has been felt in Hong Kong. Last month, an earthquake measuring 1.4 rumbled the city, with the epicentre near the outlying island of Cheung Chau.

Then, locals reported the feeling as being the same as a light truck passing, with the observatory saying the quake lasted a few seconds.

PHOTO: Handout

The scale – which ranges from 1 to 12 – measures the shaking intensity produced by a quake. One represents “not felt by persons”, with major damage occurring at the top end of the scale.

Chan Sai-tick, a senior scientific officer at the observatory, said of the 1,200 people who reported feeling the quake, the majority came from the southern part of the city.

People reported that objects hanging on the walls swung around, while windows and doors rattled. Some people reported being woken up the tremor.

“Because of the close vicinity of this earthquake, many citizens in Hong Kong still felt the tremor caused by this earthquake,” Chan said.

People across Hong Kong took to social media to discuss the incident, with Facebook user Jenny Fang describing being woken up in Yuen Long as she felt her bed shaking. Several others in Tung Chung, Fanling, To Kwa Wan, and Wong Tai Sin, also said they felt the tremor at home.

Another user, named Alan MC Ng, wrote: “Yes I felt [the tremor] on Hong Kong Island. I’ve immediately reported to the observatory on its application. It felt like a truck was passing by outside the door and all window frames vibrated in low frequency which lasted for a few seconds.”

This article was first published in South China Morning Post.

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