Third quake in six weeks hits eastern Taiwan

Another massive earthquake shakes the eastern seaboard of Taiwan. Residents are shaken, but local IT industry surfs out tremors

Yet another earthquake hit Taiwan Monday evening (17:53 GMT, 1:53 local time) with a US Earthquake Information Centre estimated strength of 6.1 on the Richter scale. On this occasion -- the third major quake in just over a month -- both local residents and the country's IT infrastructure escaped any serious harm.

On 21st September, a quake measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale left 2,400 people dead and vital local industry in tatters, causing an estimated $14bn (£8.54bn) in damage. Last week a second quake injured 126 people.

This latest quake was only sufficient to wake locals and damage a few possessions, but the culmination of three quakes of such high-magnitude has had an effect on the re-building process of Taiwan's IT production plants.

John Brown, director of world-wide quarterly PC industry tracking at analyst firm IDC explained: "In general, we are expecting some smell of these quakes in fourth quarter results. Most Taiwanese firms are back on-line from the first shock now, but there is a degree of instability from these extra quakes and after shocks, although of course nothing as outrageous as the first event. Prices will inevitably go up in the fourth quarter and shipments will slow."

Brown went on to say that the US would be hit harder than the UK and Europe: "Far more Taiwanese technology shipments go to the US than anywhere else. Each manufacturer will be affected differently, with the big names obviously on the 'favourites list'. We expect a general slow down, but this won't result in the most disastrous fourth quarter of all time or anything like that.