Chishang Township in rural southeast Taiwan was hit by the earthquake at a depth of 10 kilometers.
The Japan Meteorological Agency has issued a tsunami warning for Miyako Island in the East China Sea. But the agency later removed the warning. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) also issued a tsunami warning for nearby coastlines.
Photos show collapsed buildings in southern Taiwan after a powerful earthquake. The USGS initially registered it at 7.2, before lowering it to 6.9.
Four people were rescued after being trapped under the rubble of a building, the island’s official Central News Agency (CNA) reported.
About 20 passengers were evacuated after a train derailed in the area, but there were no casualties, the Taiwan Railways Administration said.
Colas Yotaka, a former presidential spokesman who is running for local elections in Hualien County, said damage was also reported at a local school.
Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen activated the island’s central emergency operations center after the earthquake. Residents of Taiwan have been asked to be alert to avoid possible earthquakes, Tsai said in a reported statement.
Taiwan’s Defense Ministry spokesman Sun Li-fang said about 110 soldiers had been deployed to Hualien County, on the island’s east coast, to help with disaster relief efforts.