A magnitude 6.8 earthquake struck Taiwan’s sparsely populated southeast on Sunday, the island’s meteorological department said, derailing trains and toppling a convenience store.

The Meteorological Department said the epicenter of the earthquake was in Taitung County and a 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck the same area on Saturday evening, causing no casualties.

The US Geological Survey measured the magnitude of the earthquake at 7.2 and a depth of 10 km (6.2 mi).

Taiwanese media said a low-rise building containing a convenience store collapsed in Yuli and rescue operations began to evacuate four people inside, while a vehicle was suspected to have been thrown from the collapsed bridge.

Three trains derailed after part of the roof of a platform collapsed at Dongli station in eastern Taiwan, with about 20 passengers evacuated and uninjured, the Taiwan Railways Administration said.

The US Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a warning for Taiwan after the earthquake but later withdrew the warning.

The Japan Meteorological Agency issued a tsunami warning of up to 1 meter (3.2 ft) in parts of Okinawa Prefecture following the earthquake.

Earthquake tremors may be felt in Taiwan, the Meteorological Department said. Buildings shook for a while in the capital, Taipei.

Science parks in the southern cities of Tainan and Kaohsiung, home to major semiconductor factories, said operations were unaffected.

Taiwan is near the junction of two tectonic plates and is prone to earthquakes.

An earthquake in southern Taiwan in 2016 killed more than 100 people, while a magnitude 7.3 earthquake in 1999 killed more than 2,000.

A fault is a fracture or zone of fracture between two blocks of rock in the Earth’s crust. When an earthquake occurs on one of these faults, the rock on one side of the fault moves to the other.

Taiwan borders the Eurasian Plate and the Philippine Sea in a seismically active zone also known as the Pacific Ring of Fire. A horseshoe-shaped belt region encircles the Pacific Ocean where plate tectonics are intensely active. Geologists have identified several active faults on the island, but most of the earthquakes observed in Taiwan are caused by the convergence of the Philippine Sea Plate and the Eurasian Plate to the east of the island.


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