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August 18, 2009

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Quakes shake Taiwan, Japan

TWO strong earthquakes rattled Taiwan and southern Japanese islands yesterday but there were no reports of casualties or damage.

The epicenter of the first quake, which struck at 8:05am, was about 188 kilometers southeast of Hualien on Taiwan's east coast at a depth of 11km, the island's weather bureau said.

The United States Geological Survey put the magnitude at 6.7 after a first estimation of 6.9.

Japan withdrew an initial warning of a tsunami.

The second quake, which was centered close to the first at a depth of 20km and struck at 6:10pm, measured 6.1, the weather bureau said.

It was also felt on Japan's Ishigaki Island.

The Japan Meteorological Agency rated the second quake a 2 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale of 1 to 7, which means that it could be felt by some people in buildings and that hanging objects such as lamps would swing slightly.

The USGS reported a smaller aftershock about five minutes after the second earthquake struck.


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