People all over the island reported feeling the magnitude-6.0 earthquake. The temblor was centered about 155 miles south of Taipei.
Emergency officials said a 72-year-old woman became the first known fatality from the quake. They said she died when a temple wall she was standing next to collapsed and crushed her in the mostly rural county of Nantou. At least 19 people were injured, mostly by falling objects.
Security cameras in Taipei showed people holding onto furniture as the quake hit. Authorities suspended high-speed rail service until the line could be inspected.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.