Thursday, April 14, 2016

Myanmar earthquake causes only minor damage, officials say

Myanmar appears to have escaped with only minor damage to buildings after a magnitude 6.9 earthquake rattled its remote north and neighbouring countries.
The quake, which struck late on Wednesday at a depth of 130 kilometres, was felt as far away as China and Bangladesh, where scores of people were injured in stampedes as panic spread.
However, initial surveys suggested the damage was limited in Myanmar, according to an official from Sagaing province, around 100 kilometres from the epicentre.
"We have no casualties although there was some small damage to pagodas in villages," a police official said, requesting anonymity.
"People are now enjoying the water festival," he added, referring to the Buddhist new year celebrated across the region.
Myanmar's relief department posted on its Facebook page that "there were no casualties, injuries or major damage to buildings because of [the] earthquake".
A second, unnamed policeman in the capital Naypyidaw said emergency checks on the quake-rattled zone had so far revealed no serious damage to buildings.
"It seems like there was not so much damage from the quake," the officer said.
"But we are releasing instructions of 'dos and don'ts' if earthquakes occur in the future."

People injured in stampedes in Bangladesh

The quake rippled out to Bangladesh, which shares a border with Myanmar.
More than 80 people in the country were injured, mostly in stampedes, as panicked residents fled their homes and offices, local television reported.
In neighbouring India, tremors were felt in several north-eastern cities, while Chinese state media said some residents in the Tibetan city of Lhasa ran out into the streets in panic.
Earthquakes are relatively common in Myanmar, but the country has not seen a major quake since November 2012, when a powerful magnitude 6.8 tremor struck the centre of the country, killing 26 people and injuring hundreds.
Crumbling infrastructure and poor urban planning have made the country's most populous areas vulnerable to earthquakes and other disasters, experts say.
Myanmar regularly suffers tropical storms, droughts and floods, while the Sagaing faultline that bisects the country from its northern hills to southern coast causes sporadic earthquakes.
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