TAIPEI - An earthquake with a magnitude of 5.9 shook Taiwan on Wednesday but there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage, the Central Weather Bureau said on its website..

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The epicentre of the quake, which struck at 8:21 a.m. (0021 GMT), was in the east side of Hualien at a depth of 18 km (11 miles), the bureau said. Taiwan uses the Richter scale to measure earthquakes.

Earthquakes occur frequently in Taiwan, which lies on a seismically active stretch of the Pacific basin.

One of the island's worst-recorded quakes occurred in September 1999. Measuring 7.6, it killed more than 2,400 people and destroyed or damaged 50,000 buildings.

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