Strong earthquake hits eastern Taiwan

A strong earthquake has hit the eastern part of Taiwan, causing a building to collapse and derailing a train in Hualien County.

Japan's Meteorological Agency said the magnitude 7.3 quake struck Taiwan around 2:44 p.m. local time on Sunday. The epicenter was at a depth of three kilometers near Taiwan.

The agency issued a tsunami advisory for the Miyakojima and Yaeyama regions in Japan's southern prefecture of Okinawa. It was lifted later on Sunday.

Taiwan's weather bureau said the quake's magnitude was 6.8. They said strong tremors were observed in Taitung County and nearby Hualien County.

Taiwan media reports say a three-story building housing a convenience store collapsed in Hualien. Firefighters say two people were rescued.

The quake forced train carriages to come off the rails at a station in Hualien. Taiwan's Central News Agency says 20 passengers were evacuated. No casualties have been reported.

Three people were rescued when their vehicle fell off a damaged bridge. Broken water pipes, blackouts and landslides are also being reported in Hualien.

Taiwan's weather bureau says people should remain on the alert for more tremors. Sunday's earthquake was the second major tremor in two days. A magnitude 6.4 quake hit eastern Taiwan on Saturday night.