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Earthquake shakes southern Taiwan
One person hurt amid transport and utility disruptions, but no tsunami alert issued.
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2010 04:00 GMT

A powerful earthquake has rocked southern Taiwan, shaking buildings and halting train services.

Local news reports say at least one person was injured when the 6.4 magnitude quake struck early on Thursday.

No tsunami alert was issued.

The earthquake epicentre occurred in the town of Jiashian, in Kaohsiung county, an area still recovering from a massive typhoon that triggered floods and mudslides in August last year that left more than 700 people dead.

Residents in the county's capital, Kaohsiung city, rushed out into the streets as buildings started shaking, and were reluctant to re-enter, according to local television reports.

Transport disruptions

The earthquake struck at a depth of about 5km, and was the biggest to hit the Kaohsiung area in recent years, the weather bureau reported.

Officials in Jiashian told local media that there was a small landslide in an uninhabited area.

Services on the Kaohsiung subway were also halted, as were trains on the high-speed rail connecting the north and the south of the island, television reports said.

In the city of Nantou, in the south of the island, water and power lines were cut.

Taiwan is regularly hit by earthquakes as the island lies near the junction of two tectonic plates.

In September 1999, a 7.6 magnitude earthquake killed around 2,400 people in the deadliest natural disaster in the island's history.

Most modern buildings in Taiwan are built to withstand earthquakes.

Source:
Agencies
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