A magnitude 8.2 earthquake has struck in Taiwan, with a maximum depth of 1,000 meters (4,500 feet) and a death toll of nearly 5,000, authorities said.
The epicenter was at the northern province of Tainan, with its capital at Kaohsiung, and a total area of 2.6 million square kilometers (1.7 million square miles), according to the Taiwan Meteorological Administration.
A series of aftershocks occurred on Saturday and Sunday, with the strongest on Saturday night, according to Taiwan’s National Emergency Center.
There were no reports of injuries or damage, the center said.
A number of small quakes struck the area overnight, including one that registered a magnitude 6.8, according the Taiwan National Weather Service.
The agency warned that a quake could bring the death toll to more than 10,000 and that the quake was likely to cause landslides and buildings to collapse.
An earthquake of this magnitude is not uncommon in Taiwan.
But the quake struck at a time when Taiwan was in the midst of a severe economic crisis, with some residents complaining of rising electricity prices and food shortages.
Some experts said the earthquakes were caused by the building collapse in Kaohsien, a city of some 30,000 people, after a massive building collapse that injured more than 100 people.
The Kaohsuan Industrial Park was destroyed and its nearby office complex was damaged, officials said.
Some residents in Kaokowen told reporters they believed the building had been hit by a large meteorite, but authorities later said they did not have a confirmation.
The government is now investigating the cause of the earthquakes.
The US Geological Survey said that it was expecting another quake sometime Sunday, but did not provide further details.