Strong earthquake strikes southeast Taiwan, injuring 146

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  • The carriages derailed, and four rescued from the collapsed building
  • Tsunami warnings have been canceled, and chip foundries are not affected
  • More than 600 trapped by blocked mountain roads
  • The quake came on the heels of a 6.4-magnitude quake on Saturday

TAIPEI (Reuters) – A 6.8-magnitude earthquake struck a sparsely populated area in southeastern Taiwan on Sunday, sending train carriages derailed, causing a shop to collapse and trapping hundreds on mountain roads, the island’s meteorological office said.

The meteorological office said the quake’s epicenter was in Taitung County, and was followed by a 6.4-magnitude quake on Saturday evening in the same area, causing no casualties. Read more

The US Geological Survey measured Sunday’s earthquake with a magnitude of 7.2 and a depth of 10 km.

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The Taiwan Fire Department said the quake killed and injured 146 people.

The four people were rescued from a collapsed building in Yuli, while three people whose cars had fallen off a damaged bridge were rescued and taken to hospital.

The Taiwan Railways Administration said six coaches derailed at Dongli Station in eastern Taiwan after part of the platform’s canopy collapsed, but the fire department said there were no injuries.

More than 600 people are trapped in the mountainous regions of Chek and Liushishi due to closed roads, the department said, although there have been no injuries and rescuers are working to reopen the roads.

The US Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a warning to Taiwan after the earthquake but raised the alert status later. The Japan Meteorological Agency has raised a tsunami warning for part of Okinawa Prefecture.

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The Bureau of Meteorology said the quake could be felt across Taiwan. Buildings shook briefly in the capital, Taipei, and aftershocks continued to hit the island.

Science parks in the southern cities of Tainan and Kaohsiung, home to major semiconductor factories, said there was no impact on operations.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation (TSMC) (2330.TW)the world’s largest chip maker, said there was “no significant impact known at the moment”.

Taiwan lies near the intersection of two tectonic plates and is prone to earthquakes.

More than 100 people were killed in the 2016 southern Taiwan earthquake, while a 7.3-magnitude earthquake killed more than 2,000 people in 1999.

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(Reporting by Ben Blanchard and Yimo Lee) Additional reporting by Martin Quinn Pollard, Sam Nosy and Anirud Saligrama. Editing by Christian Schmolinger and Stephen Coates

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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