Strong earthquake hits southern Taiwan, buildings collapse

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  • Train derails, two trapped in building
  • Tsunami warning lifted, chip foundries not affected
  • The quake followed Saturday’s 6.4-magnitude quake

TAIPEI, Sept 18 (Reuters) – A 6.8-magnitude earthquake hit sparsely populated southeastern Taiwan on Sunday, derailing a train carriage and causing a convenience store to collapse, the Taiwan Meteorological Bureau said.

The epicentre was in Taitung County, where a 6.4-magnitude quake struck the same area Saturday night, with no casualties, the meteorological bureau more

The U.S. Geological Survey measured the quake with a magnitude of 7.2 and a depth of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles).

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The government of Hualien County, which borders Taitung, said two people were trapped in a building containing a convenience store that collapsed in Yuli, while three people who fell from a damaged bridge were being rescued.

At Dongli Station in eastern Taiwan, three carriages derailed after part of the platform canopy collapsed, and about 20 passengers on board were evacuated without injury, the Taiwan Railway Administration said.

The U.S. Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued an alert to Taiwan after the quake, but it was later canceled. The Japan Meteorological Agency also lifted an earlier tsunami warning for parts of Okinawa Prefecture.

The Bureau of Meteorology said the quake could be felt across Taiwan. Buildings in the capital Taipei shook briefly.

Tech parks in the southern cities of Tainan and Kaohsiung, where major semiconductor factories are located, said there was no impact on operations.

Taiwan is located at the junction of the two tectonic plates and is prone to earthquakes.

The 2016 earthquake in southern Taiwan killed more than 100 people, while the 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 Quin Pollard, Sam Nussey and Anirudh Saligrama; Editing by Lincoln Feast and Christian Schmollinger

Our Standard: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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