Magnitude 6.4 earthquake hits southern Taiwan

At least 30 people have been rescued after four buildings collapsed in the southern Taiwanese city of Tainan following a strong 6.4-magnitude earthquake that struck the island early on Saturday, officials said.

The quake was initially reported as having a magnitude of 6.7, but was downgraded to 6.4.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said a destructive Pacific-wide tsunami was not expected.

Taiwan lies near the junction of two tectonic plates and is regularly hit by earthquakes.

A strong 6.3-magnitude quake which hit central Taiwan in June 2013 killed four people and caused widespread landslides.

A 7.6-magnitude quake struck the island in September 1999 and killed around 2,400 people.

TAIPEI: At least 30 people have been rescued after four buildings collapsed in the southern Taiwanese city of Tainan following a strong 6.4-magnitude earthquake that struck the island early on Saturday, officials said.

Images on television and social media showed a half crumbled seven-storey high rise which had lurched to one side. A rescue operation was under way in two buildings, officials said, with no fatalities reported so far.

"Four buildings have collapsed in Tainan City area. Search and rescue is under way and no casualties have been reported at this moment," Lin Kuan-cheng, spokesman for the National Fire Agency, told AFP.

The shallow quake struck at a depth of 10 kilometres (six miles) around 2000 GMT Friday, according to the US Geological Survey, 39 kilometres northeast of Kaohsiung, the second-largest city on the island and an important port.