- TAIPEI, Taiwan (CNN) -- A
powerful earthquake hit Taiwan Sunday afternoon, killing at least two people
and causing massive damage to the capital city.
- Taiwan's central weather bureau measured the quake at
6.8 in magnitude, centered near Hualien in the eastern part of the island.
- Local media reports said one man died in his car, when
a crane fell from a high-rise building, and hit him. The death toll is
expected to rise, as many people have been reported missing in several
collapsed buildings across the capital.
- Taiwan's President Chen Shui-bian (CHEN-SHWAY-bee-EHN)
was visiting Hualien when the quake struck at 2:52 p.m. (1:52 a.m. EST)
and went on national television to assure the nation he was not harmed.
- "I hope everyone is all right," he added.
- The force of the quake created "a giant shaking
sensation that we felt here in the capital," local journalist Jason
Blatt told CNN.
- "I can see damage everywhere," he said from
his Taipei apartment.
- Local media reported three buildings have collapsed or
partially collapsed, and Taipei's subway has been shut down after a water
pipe at one station broke. Water and gas pipes were also ruptured around
the city because of the powerful quake, the reports said.
- Landslides cut off a freeway in the eastern part of Taiwan,
and threatened several bridges. A rockslide injured an 8-year-old boy near
Hualien, local reports said.
- In September 1999, more than 2,400 people lost their
lives and more than 11,000 were injured in a massive 7.6-magnitude earthquake.