Taipei MRT and Airport MRT shut down temporarily after 6.1 earthquake

Building on Taipei City's Changan East Road reportedly closed off

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The MRT control center in Taipei. (screenshot)

The MRT control center in Taipei. (screenshot)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - After a magnitude 6.1 earthquake hit the east coast region of Hualien Thursday, Taipei City's entire Mass Rapid Transit system was closed down for inspections, which were completed to allow a resumption of services from 2:30 p.m.

The airport MRT also stopped services for about 20 minutes, reports said. Trains stuck between stations were moved to the closest station to let passengers disembark.

The Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) was also suspending some services, mainly along the east coast, while other trains reduced speed. TRA called on passengers to check for the latest information. Water mains at Hualien City Railway Station broke and flooded the main passenger waiting hall.

The main road across mountainous Central Taiwan saw segments closed off due to the risk of landslides. High Speed Rail trains stopped temporarily, but soon resumed service.

There were also reports of widespread damage to buildings, with ceiling panels falling to the ground and products falling off shelves at supermarkets. On Taipei City's Changan East Road, an office building was listing while tiles had fallen off the outer walls, cable station TVBS reported, leading officials to close off the site.

A dormitory at National Taiwan Normal University reported damage to its sanitary system.

According to Taiwanese media reports, the Japanese island of Okinawa issued a tsunami alert, while residents of the Chinese coastal province of Fujian also felt the quake.

The main tremor at 1:01 p.m. was followed by at least two aftershocks within half an hour, the Central Weather Bureau said.

Visiting the emergency center, Premier Su Tseng-chang warned citizens that rain expected for Friday might increase the risk of landslides in mountainous areas.