Sunday, November 21, 2010

6.1-magnitude quake strikes off Taiwan

Posted: 21 November 2010 2051 hrs

TAIPEI - A 6.1 magnitude undersea earthquake struck off eastern Taiwan Sunday, the island's Seismology Centre said, but there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties.

The quake hit at 1231 GMT about 22 kilometres (14 miles) southeast of the eastern city of Hualien and had a depth of 41 kilometres, the Centre said. No tsunami warning was issued.

The US Geological Survey put the quake's magnitude at 5.7. It said the epicentre was 50 kilometres (31 miles) deep.

Buildings in the capital Taipei swayed and the quake could be felt across the island but the National Fire Agency said there were no casualties or any damage.

"Since the quake originated at a spot rather deep below the surface of the sea, and it did not last long, the risk of it causing severe damages was low," Kuo Kai-wen, the director of the Centre, told AFP.

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

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

- AFP /ls

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