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5.9 earthquake strikes southern Taiwan, causes minor damage

A 5.9-magnitude earthquake struck southern Taiwan on Sunday morning, the U.S. Geological Survey said. There were reports of minor property damage but no immediate reports of injuries, The Associated Press said.

The quake was centered in a mountainous area about 19 miles from the coastal city of Pingtung, at a depth of 13.9 miles.

Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau said the quake struck at 10:35 a.m. (6:35 p.m. ET) Sunday and put the magnitude at 6.1. Taiwan television showed pictures of minor damage in the Pingtung area.

TV reports said high-speed rail service had been temporarily suspended out of the southern city of Kaohsiung, north of Pingtung.

Earthquakes frequently rattle Taiwan, but most are minor and cause little or no damage. However, a magnitude-7.6 earthquake in central Taiwan in 1999 killed more than 2,300 people.

Msnbc.com staff contributed to this report from The Associated Press.

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