Strong earthquake in Taiwan kills 1, injures at least 20

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March 27, 2013, 5:39 am
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TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) - A strong earthquake struck central Taiwan on Wednesday, killing at one person and injuring 19 as it damaged buildings on the quake-prone island.
    
The Central Weather Bureau said the magnitude-6.1 earthquake was felt throughout the island. Buildings swayed in the capital Taipei, and sections of the high-speed rail were suspended from service to be inspected for damage.
    
The U.S. Geological Survey placed the magnitude at 6.0. The quake's depth was a relatively shallow 15 kilometers (9 miles).
    
Emergency officials said a 72-year-old woman became the first known fatality from the quake. They said she died when a temple wall she was standing next to collapsed and crushed her in the mostly rural county of Nantou
    
Near the Nantou epicenter, a section of a ceiling fell from a government office and injured one worker, officials said. All-together, at least 19 people were injured, mostly by falling objects, the Fire Department said. A house fire caused by leaking gas was quickly put out, it added.
    
Nantou government official Chen Min-hui said tiles fell from a few school buildings and minor cracks appeared on walls, but all structures remained intact.
    
Nantou is a rural county about 250 kilometers (about 155 miles) south of Taipei. It is near the epicenter of a magnitude-7.6 earthquake that killed more than 2,300 people in 1999.
    
Earthquakes frequently rattle Taiwan, but most are minor and cause little or no damage.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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