Fox News - Fair & Balanced

Search Site

Strong Earthquake Kills 2 in Taiwan

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

TAIPEI, Taiwan —  A powerful earthquake jolted Taiwan late Tuesday, killing two people whose home collapsed and prompting a tsunami alert on the second anniversary of the waves and quake that killed 230,000 in south Asia.

No large waves materialized but the alert underscored a higher level of caution since the Dec. 26, 2004, earthquake and tsunami.

Taiwan lost telephone communications with several neighboring Asian countries Wednesday because an undersea cable was damaged, Chunghwa Telecom said.

The quake was felt throughout Taiwan. The U.S. Geological Survey estimated its magnitude at 7.1, while Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau measured it at 6.7. It was followed eight minutes later by 7.0 magnitude aftershock, the USGS said. A 5.9-magnitude aftershock struck early Wednesday, the Central Weather Bureau said.

Two members of one family were killed when their four-story home collapsed in the southern Pingtung County township of Hengchun. Six other members of the family were rescued from the rubble early Wednesday, the National Fire Agency said. Forty-two people were injured.

High-rise hotels swayed violently in the southern city of Kahosiung, the CTI Cable News reported.

(Story continues below)

Advertise Here

Advertisements

Twelve fires erupted, apparently caused by downed power cables.

Chunghwa Telecom said the damaged cable interrupted communications with Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Hong Kong. Communications with China were also cut off because calls to the mainland from Taiwan are routed through Hong Kong.

Quakes frequently shake Taiwan, which is part of the Pacific's "Ring of Fire," an arc of volcanos and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin. Most are minor and cause little or no damage. However, a 7.6-magnitude earthquake in central Taiwan in September 1999 killed more than 2,300 people.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


FOX NEWS VIDEOS



ADVERTISEMENT

most active


ADVERTISEMENT

VIDEO

ONLY ON FOX