A powerful 6.8 magnitude earthquake hit north-central Myanmar

A powerful 6.8 magnitude earthquake hit north-central Myanmar on Wednesday, the US Geological Survey has reported, with tremors felt around the region.

The quake, which the USGS said struck at a depth of 52 miles (84km), swayed high-rise buildings in Thailand’s capital, Bangkok, and was also felt in the Indian city of Kolkata. There were no immediate reports of casualties.

The epicentre was near Chauk, a town on the Irrawaddy river several hundred kilometres north-west of Myanmar’s capital, Naypyidaw. Soe Win, a regional MP in the Magway area, said the tremors lasted for several minutes.

“There was also some sound as well. A pagoda collapsed in Salay and a building also collapsed,” he told Agence France-Presse, adding that he had not yet heard of any casualties.

The USGS estimated that the impact would be “relatively localised”, but noted that many buildings in the region were “highly vulnerable” to earthquake shaking.

Earthquakes are relatively common in Myanmar, although the country has not experienced a major quake since 2012. The last quake struck in a nearby region in April and caused minor damage but no casualties.


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