Earthquake hits Taiwan, 1 injured

A powerful 6.4-magnitude earthquake rocked southern Taiwan on Thursday morning causing buildings to sway hundreds of miles to the north. Local news reports said at least one person was injured.

The quake was centred in the county of Kaohsiung, and struck at a depth of about 3.1 miles (5 kilometers). Kaohsiung is about 249 miles (400 kilometers) south of the capital Taipei.

Residents in Taipei could feel buildings shake, and the quake caused power outages. The island’s high-speed rail service was suspended, Taiwan’s cable news stations reported.

No tsunami alert was issued.

A Kaohsiung official told the CTI news station some temporary housing shelters, erected in the wake of a devastating typhoon last summer, collapsed as a result of the quake.

Earthquakes frequently rattle Taiwan but most are minor and cause little or no damage.

However, a 7.6-magnitude temblor in central Taiwan in 1999 killed more than 2,300 people. In 2006 a 6.7-magnitude quake south of Kaohsiung severed undersea cables and disrupted telephone and Internet service to millions throughout Asia.

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