TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — A powerful earthquake off Taiwan injured 14 people and caused minor damage in the capital as well as near the epicenter, an official said Sunday.
All 14 victims sustained minor injuries in the eastern city of Hualien, 85 miles (135 kilometers) southeast of the capital, the official from Taiwan’s National Fire Agency said.
Thirteen became ill after inhaling chlorine gas that leaked from a hotel, and another was hurt by falling debris caused by Saturday’s quake, said the official, who declined to be named because he was not authorized to speak to the press.
The U.S. Geological Survey said Saturday the 6.4-magnitude quake was centered off the eastern coast of Taiwan, about 15 miles (25 kilometers) from Hualien. It struck at a depth of about 30 miles (45 kilometers). The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center did not immediately issue any warning.
Buildings shook in the capital for several seconds after the quake struck.
Taipei’s subways and the island’s high-speed rail service were suspended, local TV reports said.
Earthquakes frequently rattle Taiwan but most are minor and cause little or no damage.
However, a 7.6-magnitude temblor in central Taiwan in 1999 killed more than 2,300 people. In 2006 a 6.7-magnitude quake south of Kaohsiung severed undersea cables and disrupted telephone and Internet service to millions throughout Asia.