Two dead after strong Myanmar quake

A powerful earthquake that struck Myanmar on Sunday left at least two dead and five missing, a government official said, after the tremor sparked panic in the central city of Mandalay.

"According to the information we have so far, two people died and three were injured because of the earthquake, while five are still missing," the official in the capital Naypyidaw told AFP, asking not to be named.

He said the missing were workers flung into the Irrawaddy river when the quake shook the bridge they were building in an area north of Mandalay, the country's second-largest city.

One man died and three were injured by buildings collapsing in a small town in central Sagaing region. A woman was also killed by falling debris from a brick wall in a village north of Mandalay.

The shallow 6.8-magnitude quake hit around 116 kilometres (72 miles) north of Mandalay at a depth of just 10 kilometres, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said. It initially put the magnitude of the quake at 7.0.

It was followed by a series of strong aftershocks.

"I ran from my bed carrying my daughter out to the street. There were many people in the road. Some were shouting and others felt dizzy," Mandalay resident San Yu Kyaw told AFP by telephone.

"People are now scared of more earthquakes. Especially those who live or run businesses in high-rise buildings are desperate and don't know what to do," he said.

Construction standards are generally poor in the country formerly known as Burma, one of Asia's most impoverished nations.

A large crack stretching from the second to the sixth floor of Mandalay's highest building, the 25-storey Mann Myanmar Plaza, appeared after the quake, a local resident told AFP.

He said people were afraid to enter the structure and it remains closed.

The USGS issued a yellow alert, saying "some casualties and damage are possible" but that the impact should be relatively localised.

The quake hit at 7:42 am (0112 GMT) and was followed by two shallow 5.0-magnitude aftershocks within 20 minutes, according to the USGS.

"The quake was quite strong. I was shopping in the market at the time and I saw women crying in fear when they felt it. We expect more quakes are coming. Everybody is afraid," said 23-year-old Win Win Nwe, a resident in the small town of Shwebo, north of Mandalay.

She said there were fears that several people had been injured in a nearby town.

It comes little more than a week before US President Barack Obama is due in Myanmar on a historic visit, as the West begins to roll back sanctions to reward a series of dramatic political reforms under President Thein Sein.

The quake was felt in neighbouring Thailand, including in the capital Bangkok, according to reports on social media websites.

It struck around 572 kilometres east of the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka, one of the world's biggest cities.

Earthquakes are relatively common in Myanmar.

The USGS said six strong earthquakes, of 7.0-magnitude and more, struck between 1930 and 1956 near the Sagaing Fault, which runs north to south through the centre of the country, resulting in landslides, liquefaction and the loss of 610 lives.

Kyaw Kyaw Lwin, an official at the National Earthquake Information Division in the capital Naypyidaw, said it was the strongest quake in the area since a 6.0-magnitude quake in 1991.

More than 70 people were killed in March 2011 when a powerful 6.8-magnitude quake struck Myanmar near the borders with Thailand and Laos, reducing homes and government buildings to rubble and affecting thousands of people.

Aid workers at the time praised Myanmar's regime for its speedy response to that quake, in contrast to the aftermath of previous disasters to strike the country under the old military junta, which ruled the country for decades.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Philippines hits back at Beijing over South China Sea
    Philippines hits back at Beijing over South China Sea

    The Philippines on Saturday shot back at Beijing's criticism of its activities in the South China Sea, saying they were "in no way comparable to China's massive reclamation activities" in the waters. It also said accusations that Manila was being "hypocritical" would not distract people from Beijing's own actions which were raising regional tensions. "The Philippines' possible undertaking of necessary maintenance and repairs on its existing facilities in the West Philippine Sea... is in no …

  • Boxing hero Pacquiao is top tax-payer in Philippines: govt
    Boxing hero Pacquiao is top tax-payer in Philippines: govt

    Boxing hero Manny Pacquiao, who faces his biggest fight against unbeaten American Floyd Mayweather, already holds top spot as the number one taxpayer in the Philippines, government records showed Saturday. A list of top individual tax-payers for 2013, posted on the Bureau of Internal Revenue website, put the boxer-turned-congressman at number one with 163.84 million pesos ($3.72 million) in taxes paid. Internal revenue chief Kim Henares confirmed that Pacquiao topped the list but stressed …

  • Phl, Japan sign P9.6-B ODA projects
    Phl, Japan sign P9.6-B ODA projects

    The Philippines and Japan have signed agreements for six official development assistance (ODA) projects amounting to 22.289 billion yen or around P9.6 billion. …

  • Commission to launch glossary of Pinoy meteorological terms
    Commission to launch glossary of Pinoy meteorological terms

    The Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF) will release a glossary of meteorological terms in Filipino to help the Filipino people better understand weather forecasts and instill disaster awareness among them. National Artist for Literature and KWF president Virgilio Almario said yesterday the KWF produced the glossary titled Patnubay sa Weder Forkast to simplify scientific terms used in the weather bulletins of the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration …

  • Divorce bill good scapegoat for couples – CBCP
    Divorce bill good scapegoat for couples – CBCP

    Contrary to what romance novel writers would want their readers to believe, there are no perfect marriages in the real world. This was according to Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas. In a statement titled “CBCP Position Against the Divorce Bill and Against the Decriminalization of Adultery and Concubinage,” Villegas said that while it is not easy to make relationships last, learning how to work out differences – and …

  • DND holds off infra dev’t in Pag-Asa
    DND holds off infra dev’t in Pag-Asa

    The defense department is holding off repairs and other planned infrastructure projects on Pag-Asa Island, one of seven islets and two reefs occupied by Filipino troops in the disputed Spratly Islands. Earlier, Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario pointed out that the maintenance and repair of facilities in Pag-Asa Island are not covered by the Declaration of Conduct (DOC) of parties involved in the West Philippine Sea territorial disputes. “Repair and maintenance is okay but before …

  • Blackout to hit 5 Aurora towns
    Blackout to hit 5 Aurora towns

    An 11-hour power outage will hit five towns in Aurora on Tuesday, the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) announced yesterday. The NGCP said Baler, Dingalan, San Luis, Ma. Aurora and Dipaculao would be affected by the blackout. The NGCP said parts of Nueva Ecija and Aurora were hit by a power interruption yesterday due to the tripping of the Cabanatuan-Baler 69kV line. …

  • Rules set for climate change programs
    Rules set for climate change programs

    The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and the Climate Change Commission (CCC) have released the revised guidelines to track and monitor climate change adaptation programs of the government. “The government of the Philippines has demonstrated leadership and strong commitment in implementing a comprehensive reform agenda to respond to climate change,” read the joint memorandum circular published in The STAR yesterday. “With the goal of using the budget process to plan, prioritize and …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options