Powerful earthquake hits southern Taiwan, building collapses

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  • Train coaches derail, 2 people trapped in building
  • Tsunami warning cancelled, chip foundries unaffected
  • A magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck on Saturday

TAIPEI, Sept 18 (Reuters) – A 6.8-magnitude earthquake struck southeastern Taiwan on Sunday, derailing trains and collapsing a convenience store, the island’s meteorological office said.

The Meteorological Center said the quake was in Taitung County, the same region that experienced a 6.4-magnitude earthquake on Saturday evening, which did not cause any casualties. read more

The US Geological Survey measured the earthquake at 7.2 on the Richter scale and at a depth of 10 km (6.2 mi).

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The county government in Hualien, next to Taitung, said two people were trapped in a building containing a collapsed convenience store in Yuli, while efforts were underway to rescue three people who fell from a damaged bridge.

The Taiwan Railways Administration said three carriages came off the tracks at Dongli station in eastern Taiwan after part of a platform canopy collapsed, with about 20 passengers evacuated and unhurt.

The US Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a warning for Taiwan following the earthquake, but later canceled the warning. Japan’s Meteorological Agency lifted the tsunami warning for parts of Okinawa Prefecture.

The Meteorological Center said the earthquake could be felt across Taiwan. Buildings shook briefly in the capital, Taipei.

Science parks in the southern cities of Tainan and Kaohsiung, home to major semiconductor factories, were unaffected.

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

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

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Reporting by Ben Blanchard and Yimou Lee; Additional reporting by Martin Quinn Pollard, Sam Nussey and Anirudh Saligrama; Editing by Lincoln Feist and Christian Schmollinger

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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