On 5 February 2016, a moderate earthquake occurred in southwestern Taiwan with ML 6.4 and a focal depth of 16.7 km. This earthquake caused damage to a few buildings and 117 casualties. A low‐cost earthquake early warning (EEW) system (P‐alert) is in operation for the purpose of EEW and for providing near‐real‐time shake maps. During this event, a detailed shaking map was generated by the P‐alert system within 2 min after the earthquake occurrence, and the high shaking regions strongly correlated with the locations in which the damage and casualties occurred. In the field, individual P‐alert devices also serve as onsite EEW systems using P‐wave information. The individual P‐alert provided a 4–8 s lead time before the arrival of violent shaking in the damaged regions. For regional EEW, both the Central Weather Bureau (CWB, official agency) and the P‐alert system responded very well. Currently, regional warnings in Taiwan are only provided to cities at epicentral distances of 50 km or more by the CWB. For cities within a 50‐km epicentral distance, the P‐alert system could be useful for providing onsite EEW. The performance of the P‐alert network during this earthquake proves the efficiency of this real‐time, low‐cost network in terms of early warning (regional and onsite), near‐real‐time shake maps, rapid reports, and strong‐motion data for research purposes.

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