Major Earthquake Hits Off Taiwan Coast

The U.S. Geological Survey said on Monday that a 6.5 magnitude earthquake struck off the southeast coast of Taiwan. However, there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage and no tsunami alert was issued. The quake hit at 10:59 a.m. local time (0259 GMT), 195 miles (295 kilometers) off the southern Taiwan city of Taitung at a depth of 6.2 miles (10 kilometers), the USGS said. The agency’s initial report had put the quake’s magnitude at 6.9. Earthquakes frequently rattle Taiwan but most are minor and cause little or no damage.