World

Quake hits off Japan's southern coast and Taiwan

An earthquake struck off Japan's southern coast and rattled Taiwan on Monday, prompting Japan's Meteorological Agency to issue a tsunami warning.

An earthquake struck off Japan's southern coast and rattled Taiwan on Monday, prompting Japan's Meteorological Agency to issue a tsunami warning.

The quake had a magnitude of 6.8, according to a report from the U.S. Geological Survey. It had a magnitude of 6.7, according to a preliminary report. The Japanese agency warned of a tsunami of about 50 centimetres but later withdrew the warning.

It hit about 9:06 a.m. local time off the coast of Ishigaki Island, near Japan's southern island of Okinawa, about 2,055 kilometres southwest of Tokyo, the agency said. The quake's epicentre was about 188 kilometres southeast of Hualien on Taiwan's east coast at a depth of 11 kilometres, the island's Central Weather Bureau said in a statement.

There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties in either country.

Japan and Taiwan are in one of the world's most quake-prone areas. Just last Sunday, a tremor with a preliminary magnitude of 6.9 shook Tokyo and surrounding areas. In January 1995, a major quake killed more than 6,400 people in the western port city of Kobe.

In September 1999, a quake with a magnitude of 7.6 killed more than 2,400 people in Taiwan.

With files from The Associated Press