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Quakes Jolt Taiwan

Two strong earthquakes jolted northeastern Taiwan (search) early Sunday, sending people fleeing outdoors from their beds and buckling floors, officials said.

Police said several people suffered minor injuries from falling objects, but no major damage was reported.

The two quakes hit within moments of each other in the predawn hours Sunday, with preliminary magnitudes of about 5.9. They were centered near the town of Ilan, 60 miles south of Taipei, and rocked the area for 69 seconds, the Central Weather Bureau (search) said.

The quakes were followed by several aftershocks with magnitudes between 4 and 5.

Videotape shot by a hospital security camera showed panicky patients running out of the facility, where ceilings cracked and floors buckled. Television footage also showed supermarkets with floors littered with food and water bottles fallen from the shelves.

Earthquakes frequently rattle Taiwan, but most are minor and cause little damage. A 7.6-magnitude quake in central Taiwan in September 1999 killed more than 2,300 people.