Shaking caused buildings as far away as Taipei to sway, but there was no report of any damage or injuries.
The 6.5 magnitude temblor struck at 10:59 a.m. local time about 200 miles to the east of the southern Taiwan city of T’ai-tung, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
The relatively shallow depth of only 6 miles was responsible for the strength of the shaking on land, geologists said.
The quake struck a day after a Taiwan hillside collapsed onto a three-lane highway following several days of rain.
Three cars containing four passengers were believed to be buried by the slide.
Hundreds of rescue workers who were digging through the mud stopped briefly as Monday’s quake jolted the disaster site.