South Korea’s leading fixed-line and broad band service provider reported that six of its submarine cables were not working due to the quake, affecting international communications.
The US Geological Survey said the quake, which struck at 8:26pm offshore from Hengchun in Pingtung County township, registered a magnitude of 7.1. Taiwan’s Central Weather Bureau measured it at 6.7.
An aftershock measuring 7 on the scale followed eight minutes later. Another aftershock recorded at 5.9 was registered early on Wednesday, said the Central Weather Bureau.
The quake was felt throughout Taiwan, shaking buildings from the capital, Taipei, in the north, to the southern city of Kaohsiung.
Two people were killed when a four-storey home in Hengchun collapsed. Six other members from the same family were rescued from under the rubble on Wednesday, the National Fire Agency reported.
Forty-two people were injured in southern Taiwan. Three houses collapsed and 12 fires broke out, while 3,000 homes saw their power supplies disrupted but later restored.
Japan’s Meteorological Bureau had said a 1m tsunami might be heading towards the eastern coast of the Philippines as a result of Wednesday’s quake but later lifted the warning.
Vietnamese living along the country’s southern coast evacuated their homes after the authorities issued a warning, but seismologists lifted the warning two hours later.