Taiwan rocked by a major earthquake

A strong earthquake measuring seven on the Richter scale has hit northeastern Taiwan.

The quake shook office buildings in the capital Taipei, and officials said there were several people injured.

The epicentre was in the Pacific Ocean about 70 miles off the northeast coast, informs RTE Interactive.

According to China Daily, the epicentre of the quake, which measured 7.0 on the Richter scale and struck just after noon at 0408 GMT, was about 110 km (68 miles) east of Ilan on the northeastern coast, at a depth of 59 km (37 miles), the weather bureau said in a statement.

The tremor, the strongest since a killer earthquake in 1999 that killed thousands, lasted for nearly one minute, shaking skyscrapers in Taipei, during the lunch-hour rush.

"There was one woman in her 40s who received minor head injuries when a water tower toppled off a tin veranda and onto the street," said an official from Taiwan's Disaster Recovery Center.

Japan's Kyodo News Agency said a quake of magnitude 6.6 had jolted some small islands that are part of Japan's Okinawa island chain, about 1,600 km (1,000 miles) southwest of Tokyo, at around the same time when parts of Taiwan shook. There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage.

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