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Strong earthquake hits southeastern Taiwan, building collapses

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  • Train carriages derailed, two people stuck in building
  • Tsunami warnings cancelled, chip foundries unaffected
  • Earthquake follows 6.4 . magnitude quake on Saturday

TAIPEI, Sept. 18 (Reuters) – An earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale hit sparsely populated southeastern Taiwan on Sunday, the island’s weather bureau said, derailing train cars, collapsing a supermarket and trapping people sitting on a mountain.

The weather bureau said the epicenter was in Taitung province and followed a 6.4 on the Richter scale earthquake in the same area on Saturday evening, with no casualties. read more

The US Geological Survey measured Sunday’s quake at a magnitude of 7.2 on the Richter scale and at a depth of 10 km (six miles).

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The Taiwan Fire Department said two people were trapped in a supermarket building that collapsed in Yuli and two people were rescued, while three people whose vehicle fell from a damaged bridge were rescued and taken to hospital.

The Taiwan Railways Administration said three wagons fell off the rails at Dongli station in eastern Taiwan after part of the platform roof collapsed. One person was injured, according to the fire service.

About 68 people are also trapped in the scenic mountain area of ​​Chike due to a blocked road, though there are no injuries, the department added.

The US Pacific Tsunami Warning Center warned Taiwan after the quake, but later lifted the alarm. Japan’s weather agency has lifted a tsunami warning for part of Okinawa prefecture.

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The quake was felt throughout Taiwan, the weather bureau said. In the capital Taipei, buildings briefly shook.

Science parks in the southern cities of Tainan and Kaohsiung, home to major semiconductor factories, said there was no impact on operations.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) (2330.TW), the world’s largest contract chip maker, said “no significant impact is known for now”.

Taiwan is located near the intersection of two tectonic plates and is prone to earthquakes.

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

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Reporting by Ben Blanchard and Yimou Lee; Additional reporting by Martin Quin Pollard, Sam Nussey and Anirudh Saligrama; Edited by Lincoln Feast and Christian Schmollinger

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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