A powerful earthquake caused death and destruction in northeastern India and Bangladesh before dawn on January 4 but there were no immediate reports of casualties in Myanmar, though the tremor was felt in Yangon.
Early reports said at least nine people were killed and scores injured by the earthquake, with the death toll likely to rise as rescue teams began searching the rubble of shattered buildings, news agencies reported.
The US Geological Survey said the earthquake had a magnitude of 6.8 and its epicentre was 57 kilometres (35 miles) deep and 29km (18 miles) west of Imphal, the capital of India’s Manipur State, bordering Myanmar.
Officials said at least six people died in Imphal and three deaths were reported in Bangladesh, where police said a man aged 23 suffered a stroke while fleeing his house and two others died of heart attacks.
Imphal resident Deepak Shijagurumayum, whose house was badly damaged, told of chaotic scenes after the tremor. “Almost everyone was asleep when it struck and were thrown out of their beds,” Shijagurumayum told AFP.
There were similar scenes in Guwahati, the main commercial city in India’s Assam State, where an AFP correspondent said residents were “in a state of shock” after being woken by the shaking. Tremors were felt in Kolkata, about 600km from Imphal. Reuters quoted an official at the meteorological department in Nay Pyi Taw as saying on January 4 there were no reports of damage or casualties on the Myanmar side of the border.