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7.2 magnitude earthquake, Taiwan's strongest quake in 25years; leaves 9 dead and injures thousand

Taiwan's strongest earthquake in a quarter century rocked the island during the morning rush hour Wednesday, damaging buildings and highways and leaving nine people dead.

The epicentre was 18km (11 miles) south of Hualien city, but strong tremors were felt all the way in the capital Taipei, more than 100km away.

"The earthquake is close to land and it's shallow. It's felt all over Taiwan and offshore islands," said Wu Chien-fu, director of Taipei's Central Weather Administration's Seismology Center.

Some buildings tilted at precarious angles in the mountainous, sparsely populated county of Hualien, near the epicenter of the 7.7 magnitude quake.

The quake was followed by strong aftershocks including a 6.5 magnitude tremor. Multiple aftershocks as strong as magnitude 7 are expected in the coming days.

Taiwan lies along the Pacific "Ring of Fire," the line of seismic faults encircling the Pacific Ocean where most of the world's earthquakes occur.

This is the strongest quake to hit Taiwan in 25 years.

Taiwan maternity staff save babies from quake


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