Powerful 6.8 magnitude quake hits Magway

By AFP

YANGON — A powerful 6.8 magnitude earthquake hit central Myanmar Wednesday, the US Geological Survey reported, with tremors felt around the region.

The quake, which the agency said struck at a depth of 84 kilometres, swayed high-rise buildings in the Thai capital of Bangkok, AFP journalists reported.

It was also felt in the Indian city of Kolkata.

There were no immediate reports of casualties. On Wednesday evening, unconfirmed reports of damage to temple structures in Bagan were being broadcast on social media. 

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The epicentre was near Chauk, a town on the Irrawaddy River several hundred kilometres northwest of Myanmar’s capital Naypyidaw.

Soe Win, a regional MP from the township in Magway Region, told AFP 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 AFP, adding that he has not yet heard of any casualties.

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

Earthquakes are relatively common in Myanmar, though the country has not seen a major quake since 2012.

The last major quake struck in a nearby region in April and caused minor damages but no casualties.

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