Violent shaking felt in Taipei as 5.6-magnitude quake hits
TAIPEI — Buildings shook violently in Taiwan’s capital Taipei Thursday as a 5.6-magnitude quake hit off the island’s northeast coast, with strong aftershocks.
The shallow quake struck at a depth of 10 kilometers (six miles) at 11:17 am (0317) GMT, the US Geological Survey said, just east of the coastal city of Yilan, 60 kilometers from Taipei.
There were only reports of minor damage according to Yilan fire department.
It comes after a 6.4-magnitude earthquake in February left 117 dead when an apartment complex collapsed in the southern city of Tainan.
That quake also raised questions over shoddy construction — five people have been charged over the deadly building collapse.
AFP reporters in Taipei said Thursday’s quake rocked high-rise blocks.
There were also reports by local media of power cuts and people trapped in lifts, with children fleeing screaming from classrooms in Yilan.
A 5.5 aftershock swayed buildings in Taipei around 12:30 pm, its epicenter also just off Taiwan’s northeast coast, USGS said.
Taiwan’s central weather bureau earlier reported two other aftershocks, both with a magnitude of 4.4.
Taiwan lies near the junction of two tectonic plates and is regularly hit by earthquakes.
A 6.3-magnitude quake that hit central Taiwan in June 2013 killed four people and caused widespread landslides.
The island’s worst quake disaster came in September 1999 when a 7.6-magnitude earthquake killed around 2,400 people.
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