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5.4-magnitude quake jolts Taiwan: Seismology centre

Published on Dec 31, 2012 6:09 AM

TAIPEI (AFP) - A shallow 5.4-magnitude earthquake hit Taiwan early Monday, the island's Seismology Centre said, but there were no reports of damage or casualties.

The tremor, which was felt across the south of the island, struck at 0.03am, 46km east of the Chiayi city, at a depth of six kilometres, the centre said.

Taiwan lies near the junction of two tectonic plates and is regularly hit by earthquakes. A 5.9-magnitude quake in February sent people rushing onto the streets of the island's second-largest city of Kaohsiung and led to a temporary suspension of rail services, but no major damage was reported.

In September 1999, a 7.6-magnitude tremor killed around 2,400 people in the deadliest natural disaster in the island's recent history.