1 killed as 6.3-magnitude earthquake strikes Taiwan

TAIPEI (AFP, REUTERS) - 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 700km away. The tremor hit at 1.43pm centred 32km east of central Nantou country at a depth of 10km, Taiwan's Seismology Centre said.

The National Fire Agency said a male mountain climber was killed after being 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 the authorities were waiting for possible further damage information.

Nantou county was the epicentre of a 7.6-magnitude quake in Sept 21, 1999 that killed around 2,400 people in the deadliest natural disaster in the island's recent history.

Taiwan television said the quake triggered a gas explosion in the centre of the island but it gave no details.

"The house was shaking but nothing fell," said one resident of the city.