Earthquake hits southern Taiwan

 

An earthquake exceeding magnitude 6 hit eastern Taiwan tonight but the island's officials said no damage had been reported so far.

Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau put the magnitude at 6.3 on the Richter scale and the US Geological Survey said the size of the tremor was 6.1, after first gauging it at 6.2.

USGS said the quake, which struck at 1:36 a.m. local time was centered about 29km south of Hualien, which is located on the east coast of Taiwan.

It was strong enough to wake people in the capital Taipei.

"We haven't had reports of any casualties or damage so far," said an official from Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau.

Earthquakes occur frequently in Taiwan, which lies on a seismically active stretch of the Pacific basin. Elsewhere within the past week, several thousand people are feared to have died in two powerful quakes in Indonesia, and tsunamis triggered by undersea quakes killed nearly 200 people in Samoa, American Samoa and Tonga.

Reuters