A strong 6.3-magnitude earthquake hit Taiwan on Sunday, killing one person and violently shaking building in the capital Taipei, officials said. The powerful quake sent people running into the streets and was also felt in Hong Kong, more than 700 kilometres away.
The tremor hit at 1:43 pm (0543 GMT) centred 32 kilometres (20 miles) east of central Nantou country at a depth of 10 kilometres, Taiwan’s Seismology Centre said. The National Fire Agency said a mountain climber was killed after he was hit by falling rocks on Mount Ali in central Taiwan. The agency told AFP that four helicopters had been sent to scout the epicentre area as authorities awaited any further damage information.
Six high-speed trains halted but services resumed after no damage was found to the line.
“This is the biggest earthquake to hit this year. As the origin of the quake was shallow and it happened in the centre of the island, its velocity could be felt islandwide. Today’s earthquake was somewhat related to the 1999 one”, Lu Pei-ling, deputy chief of the seismology centre, told reporters.
Nantou county was the epicentre of a 7.6-magnitude quake in September 21, 1999 that killed around 2,400 people in the deadliest natural disaster in the island’s recent history. In late March, a strong earthquake in the same vicinity as Sunday’s tremor killed one person and injured 86 others. Violent shock waves damaged buildings and triggered two blazes.
Taiwan lies near the junction of two tectonic plates and is regularly hit by earthquakes.