5.4-magnitude earthquake hits eastern Taiwan; no reported injuries

USGS says the quake was 81 kilometres east of the city of Hualian at a depth of 10 kilometres.

5.4-magnitude earthquake hits eastern Taiwan
A 17-storey apartment building which collapsed after an earthquake is seen during sunset in Tainan, southern Taiwan, February 8, 2016. Reuters

A 5.4-magnitude earthquake struck eastern Taiwan early on Friday morning, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS). There were no reports of any immediate damage or casualties.

USGS said the epicentre of the quake was 81 kilometres (50 miles) east of the city of Hualian at a depth of 10 kilometres. The tremor was felt at 5.55 am (2155 GMT Thursday).

Taiwan is situated near the junction of two tectonic plates and experiences frequent earthquakes. This latest quake comes after a strong 6.4-magnitude earthquake that killed 117 people after an apartment collapsed in the southern city of Tainan in February.

The February quake raised questions over the quality of construction in the country. Five people were charged over a deadly highrise building collapse. In June 2013, a 6.3-magnitude quake killed four people when it hit central Taiwan causing widespread landslides.

Taiwan witnessed its worst quake disaster in September 1999 when a 7.6-magnitude earthquake killed around 2,400 people.