A damaged washroom is seen in a university after an earthquake. Tyrone Siu/Reuters
A 6.0-magnitude earthquake jolted Taiwan on Thursday, the US Geological Survey said, shaking buildings and disrupting traffic.
In the capital Taipei, highrises swayed violently while some panicked school children fled their classrooms in eastern Yilan county, according to reports.
Local media said the quake had been felt all over the island and a highway connecting Yilan and Hualien was shut down due to falling rocks.
The quake struck at 13:01pm (0501 GMT) at a depth of 19 kilometres (11.8 miles) in eastern Hualien county. There were no immediate reports of casualties.
The island’s central weather bureau put its magnitude at 6.1.
The Japan Meteorological Agency warned people living near the coast could notice some effects on sea levels, but said there would be no tsunami.
“Due to this earthquake, Japan’s coastal areas may observe slight changes on the oceanic surface, but there is no concern about damage,” the agency said.
Hualien was hit by a 6.4 magnitude earthquake last year that killed 17 people.
Taiwan lies near the junction of two tectonic plates and is regularly hit by earthquakes.
The island’s worst tremor in recent decades was a 7.6 magnitude quake in September 1999 that killed around 2,400 people.
A powerful typhoon will hit Taiwan later on Thursday, bringing the risk of landslides and high seas, weather forecasters said, hours after a 6.0-magnitude earthquake struck the island.
According to the epicentre the temblor was 37.1 kilometres north-northeast of Hualien County Hall at a focal depth of 45 km. No injuries or damage from the quake had been reported at the time of publication.
The central weather bureau traced the epicentre of the quake to northeastern Yilan county, and said it hit at a depth of 67 kilometres. According to preliminary data, the quake was located at a moderately shallow depth of 66km.
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