The quake hit the town of Qichang in the southeastern countryside of Taiwan and was at a depth of 10 km.
The Japan Meteorological Agency issued a tsunami warning for Miyako Island in the East China Sea, But the agency later removed the warning.
Pictures showed collapsed buildings in southern Taiwan following the powerful earthquake. The USGS initially recorded it at 7.2, before lowering it to 6.9.
The island’s official Central News Agency reported that three people were trapped under the rubble of a building. A fourth person was rescued.
The Taiwan Railways Department said about 20 passengers were evacuated after a train derailed in the area, but there were no injuries in the accident.
Colas Yutaka, a former presidential spokeswoman who is running for local elections in Hualien County, said damage was also reported at a local school.
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen activated the island’s central emergency operations center in the wake of the earthquake. Tsai said in a recorded statement that Taiwan residents were asked to remain alert to avoid possible aftershocks.
Taiwan Defense Ministry spokesman Sun Li-fang said about 110 soldiers have been deployed in Hualien County along the island’s east coast to help with disaster relief efforts.
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