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Powerful 6.4-Magnitude Quake Hits Southern Taiwan

Powerful 6.4-Magnitude Quake Hits Southern Taiwan
3/4/2010 1:26 AM ET

(RTTNews) - Southern Taiwan was jolted by a powerful 6.4-magnitude earthquake Thursday morning which damaged buildings and some major bridges. It also triggered power blackouts and ground to a halt high-speed train services on the island besides, causing panicked residents to flee shaking buildings. The quake was felt as far north as the capital Taipei, several hundred miles away.

Though no deaths were reported, more than eight persons were reported injured from the temblor which the U.S. Geological Survey said struck about 40 miles (about 70 kilometers) from the island's second-largest city Kaohsiung at a depth of 22 miles (35 kilometres). No tsunami warning was issued after the quake.

The epicenter lay in a sparsely-inhabited mountainous area in Jiahsian township in Kaohsiung county that is still recovering from last August's massive Morakot typhoon that triggered floods and mudslides and killed 700 persons.

Local television showed footage of cracked walls and falling ceiling panels in Chiayi county, just north of Kaohsiung county. Residents rushed into the streets as buildings started swaying, and were reluctant to return.

Services on the Kaohsiung subway were halted, as were trains on the high-speed railroad connecting the north and the south of the island, the companies said.

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