Taiwan Hit by 6.4 Magnitude Earthquake, Aftershocks

Bloomberg (Link) - Tim Culpan (December 19, 2009)

A magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck Taiwan today at 9:02 p.m. local time, with its epicenter about 145 kilometers (90 miles) south of Taipei, the U.S. Geological Survey said on its Web site.

Buildings shook in Taipei and at least five aftershocks measuring more than 4.2 struck within about one hour after the initial tremor, Taiwan�s Central Weather Bureau reported on its Web site. The Taiwan authority registered the primary earthquake at magnitude 6.8.

Taiwan�s high-speed rail line and Taipei City�s subway system were halted while phone companies reported temporary interruptions, Radio Taiwan International reported on its Web site without saying where it obtained the information.

Taiwan is regularly hit by earthquakes, usually causing little or no damage. On Sept. 21, 1999, a 7.4-magnitude earthquake struck in the center of the island, toppling buildings, killing more than 2,000 people and causing an estimated $9 billion in damage.