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Violent shaking felt in Taipei as 5.6-magnitude quake hits

/ 01:48 PM May 12, 2016
Screengrab from http://earthquake.usgs.gov

Screengrab from http://earthquake.usgs.gov

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.

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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.

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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.

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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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TAGS: Asia, Earthquake, Taipei, Taiwan
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