TAIPEI, Taiwan — Officials say a strong earthquake has hit eastern Taiwan, shaking buildings over a wide area including the capital. There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the earthquake hit Thursday evening and measured magnitude 6.6. It said it was centered in a remote mountainous area 45 kilometers (28 miles) south-southwest of the eastern coastal city of Hualian at a depth of just 9.3 kilometers (5.8 miles). It swayed buildings in the capital, Taipei.

Earthquakes frequently rattle Taiwan, but most are minor and cause little or no damage.

However, a magnitude-7.6 earthquake in central Taiwan in 1999 killed more than 2,300 people.


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