TAIPEI (CNA) – A magnitude 6.1 earthquake struck Taiwan at 1:01 p.m. yesterday, leaving at least 17 people injured, tilting two buildings in Taipei on their foundations, and causing a temporary suspension of public transport services, according to the Central Emergency Operation Center.

The powerful earthquake was centered in Hualien County in eastern Taiwan, where it registered an intensity of 7, the highest level on Taiwan’s intensity scale. The intensity recorded in New Taipei was 5 and in Taipei 4.

As of 4:30 p.m., 17 people had been reported injured, one of them a Malaysian tourist who was struck by falling rocks on a hiking trail in Taroko National Park, according to the center.

The Malaysian man, aged 40, was severely injured, while a 54-year-old Taiwanese woman, who was also on the trail, was hospitalized with a head injury, the center said.

Elsewhere, 10 people in Taipei and five in New Taipei were injured, either by falling objects or shards of glass, according to the center.

Two buildings in Taipei, one on Chang An East Road and the other in Xinyi District, tilted on their foundations during the quake but no injuries were reported at those sites, the center said.

It said that when the quake struck, the operation of all lines on the Taipei Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system, as well as the line to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, were suspended for safety inspections, and the service did not resume until later in the afternoon.

The High Speed Railway service, which was partially suspended, resumed operations at 2:26 p.m.

Meanwhile, a section of Provincial Highway 8, between Kuanyuan and Taroko Gorge in Hualien, has been closed until Friday at the earliest due to the risk of falling rocks, according to the center.

By Liu Chien-pang and Evelyn Kao