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Strong earthquake strikes off Taiwan’s east coast

February 4, 2018

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — A strong and shallow earthquake struck off Taiwan’s east coast on Sunday night, but there were no immediate reports of any injuries or damage.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude-6.1 quake’s epicenter was 14 kilometers (9 miles) northeast of the city of Hualien, at a depth of just 7.8 kilometers (4.9 miles). Shallow quakes tend to cause more damage than deeper ones.

Taiwan’s Central News Agency said the island’s earthquake monitoring agency registered seven tremors around that time, with the strongest recorded at a magnitude of 5.8 and a depth of 16 kilometers (10 miles).

Earthquakes frequently rattle Taiwan, but most are minor and cause little or no damage. However, a magnitude-7.6 quake in central Taiwan in 1999 killed more than 2,300 people. In 2016, a shallow earthquake in southern Taiwan killed at least two dozen people.

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