A 6.4 magnitude struck southern Taiwan in the early hours of Saturday morning, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said.
Pictures in local media showed some buildings in the city of Tainan have collapsed and it is unclear whether there are any casualties.
The city government is reported to have set up an emergency team. Tainan is home to nearly two million people.
The quake was shallow, so its effects would have been amplified, according to the USGS.
One of the collapsed buildings in southern Taiwan was a residential complex, Taiwan’s Liberty Times reported.
Taiwan lies near the junction of two tectonic plates and is often rattled by earthquakes.
A 7.6-magnitude quake in central Taiwan in 1999 killed more than 2,300 people.