Half a million people were left without electricity in Taiwan and fires broke out in a number of factories, after a moderate earthquake struck the country's mountainous southern region.
There have been no reported deaths from the event on Thursday morning local time, but several were believed to have been injured from falling objects.
The quake, at 6.4 magnitude, occurred approximately 45 miles from southern Kaohsiung city at 8:18 a.m., the U.S. Geological Survey reported.
Reports said buildings swayed in the capital Taipei during the quake.
In southern Tainan County, a fire broke out in a textile plant, causing an estimated $3 million in damages, state-run Central News Agency reported.
A Kaohsiung county official told local television that some temporary housing in the town collapsed as a result of the quake.
Security forces were sent to the area to check on the extent of the damage. Local media reported that 12 people were injured by falling objects.
"It felt like the buildings were going to collapse," Chen Pei-chi, a teacher in Shiaolin Elementary School in a village close to the epicenter told AFP news agency.
"I tried to get out, but my legs failed me because I was so frightened. Many children were screaming while they were running out of the classrooms."
Four years ago, a 6.7 magnitude quake in the same area severed undersea cables and disrupted telephone and Internet service throughout Asia.
Taiwan is especially prone to earthquakes, as it is located on a seismically active area in the Pacific basin. In 1999, some 2,400 people were killed and 50,000 buildings destroyed in a quake measuring 7.6 magnitude.