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Earthquakes centered near Hualien hit Eastern Taiwan

TAIPEI -- A string of earthquakes jolted Eastern Taiwan Sunday, centered around Hualien, with the largest measuring 4.7 on the Richter scale.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or major damage.

As of 6 p.m., 17 temblors with magnitudes of between 3.1 and 4.7 had rocked Hualien. The strongest struck at 5:01 p.m. with the epicenter located 34.6 km southwest of Hualien County Hall, the bureau's Seismology Center said.

That quake, which occurred at a shallow depth of 5 km, was felt with an intensity of 6 in the county's Guangfu Township, but lasted only 0.84 seconds.

A total of 63 aftershocks, including Sunday's 17 earthquakes, have struck Hualien since a magnitude 5.4 quake rocked the county June 15, said the center.

It noted that the aftershocks represented a normal release of energy and that such frequent earthquakes were also recorded in June and July of 2009.

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