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Earthquake Shakes Taiwan


TAIPEI—A powerful earthquake struck southeastern Taiwan and reverberated across the island on Sunday, causing building damage, derailing a train and triggering concerns of a tsunami.

At least one death and a few dozen injuries have been reported. The magnitude 6.8 quake hit at 2:44 p.m. local time, according to Taiwan’s Central Weather Bureau, which identified the epicenter as being in the relatively sparse southeastern coast of Taiwan, around the county of Taitung. The earthquake followed several others that began the previous day, including a magnitude 6.4 tremor the previous night.

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing -wen warned of further aftershocks, saying Sunday’s earthquake affected all of the island.

The U.S. Geological Survey measured the earthquake at a magnitude of 6.9. Shortly after the quake, the Japan Meteorological Agency issued a tsunami watch for some islands near Taiwan, but called it off after an hour and a half. No significant tsunami waves were observed.

Taiwan’s semiconductor facilities, a critical link in the global supply chain, appeared to have been unaffected. A spokeswoman for Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. , the world’s largest contract chip maker, said there didn’t appear to be any significant impact from the quake.

Taiwan’s military said it had dispatched troops, including 110 soldiers, to Hualien County on the island’s east coast to direct disaster-relief efforts.

In Hualien’s Yuli township, a 69-year-old cement worker was killed on the job after piles of materials collapsed on him, Taiwan’s National Fire Agency said, confirming the first casualty of the earthquake

Rescue workers also rushed to a collapsed low-rise building in Yuli that had crushed a convenience store beneath it. They saved four people at the site, disaster-relief officials said. A bridge also crumbled in Yuli, causing roadblocks. Three people who had fallen from the bridge were sent to the hospital and were conscious, according to officials, while more than 7,000 households in the township lost electricity.

Around 20 passengers managed to evacuate after a rain canopy at a train station in Hualien collapsed and caused several carriages to tip over. No one was injured, authorities said.

Tremors were felt across the island. Residents in Taipei, the island’s capital in the north, shared video clips of ceiling lights and other objects swaying and shaking. Others living along Taiwan’s east coast shared photographs of toppled interiors.

Write to Joyu Wang at and Elaine Yu at

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