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Earthquake rocks Taiwan

BY SUSAN KIM | BALTIMORE | March 31, 2002

Taiwan was rattled by a 6.8-magnitude earthquake Saturday that started fires, cracked walls of high-rises in the city of Taipei, and sent two heavy construction cranes crashing down.

Taipei's subway system was forced to shut down but was then reopened after inspection. Flights were able to continue from area airports.

The quake, which lasted about a minute, was centered near Hualien, about 100 miles east of Taipei. It was shallower than most earthquakes that hit the area, making it more damaging and felt for a wider area. Four people were killed and about 200 injured, according to government reports.

Government officials were cautiously watching landslides along Taiwan's East Coast Sunday.

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