5.6-magnitude quake hits off Taiwan

TAIPEI - A 5.6-magnitude earthquake rattled Taiwan Wednesday and shook buildings in the capital, the Seismology Centre said, but there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage.

The centre said the quake struck at 8:19 pm (1219 GMT) with its epicentre 67 kilometres (41 miles) east of the eastern city of Hualien, at a depth of 16.2 kilometres.

It said residents on many parts of the island felt tremors but no tsunami warning was issued.

The island lies near the junction of two tectonic plates and is regularly hit by earthquakes.

A strong 6.3-magnitude quake which hit central Taiwan in June last year killed four people and caused widespread landslides.

A 7.6-magnitude quake struck the island in September 1999 and killed around 2,400 people.