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Taiwan Shaken Up

An earthquake measuring 6.5 on the Richter scale shook Taiwan on Wednesday afternoon, according to the local seismological agency. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

The quake occurred at 15:04 with the epicenter in the ocean 26 kilometers east of Taidong, in southeastern Taiwan.

The entire island felt the temblor, including the capital city of Taipei in the north, where buildings swayed for more than ten seconds.

The island suffered devastating damage on September 21, 1999, when a quake measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale struck central Taiwan, leaving 2,400 dead. Milder earthquakes are commonplace.

Earlier Wednesday, a recount of votes cast in the Taiwan election concluded, but the bitter dispute rages on. The re-tally identified nearly 40,000 disputed ballots among the 13 million cast in the March election.

Chen Shui-bian beat opposition leader Lien Chan by a razor-thin 0.2 percent, or fewer than 30,000 votes, a day after a mysterious assassination attempt against Chen.

The opposition has filed two lawsuits to overturn the election result.

With the recount completed, the local high court must examine every disputed ballot and make a ruling in a process that will probably take at least several days, and may take weeks.

(CRI & China.org.cn May 19, 2004)

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