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Burma(Myanmar) earthquake hits faded drug area

Burma(Myanmar) earthquake caused buildings to sway hundreds of miles away. The economic impact of the Burma(Myanmar) earthquake is limited as Golden Triangle opium production has declined.

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Men in central Rangoon, Burma (Myanmar), play a game in the street Nov. 2, 2010. On March 23, a powerful earthquake hit the nation's easternmost province. Details of the damage from the Burma earthquake are sketchy because the area is remote and the military government keeps a tight lid on communication.

Soe Zeya/Reuters/File

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The earthquake that struck Burma Thursday night hit one of its more remote regions, once known as the world's premier producer of opium and its derivative, heroin.

The extent of damage within the tightly controlled country, officially called Myanmar, was hard to assess. It's economic impact will be limited because aside from agriculture and limited tourism, the only other industry of note in the so-called Golden Triangle is opium, and that has been in decline for more than a decade.

Homes and at least one bridge were damaged in several Burmese villages along the borders with Thailand and Laos, according to the Associated Press, which quoted residents' reports. Residents in neighboring Vietnam and Thailand also felt the tremors as far away as Hanoi and Bangkok. One woman in northern Thailand died after a brick wall fell on her.

The epicenter of the Burma earthquake occurred in its easternmost and largest province, Shan, which borders Thailand, Laos, and China. It was centered between Tachileik (a Burmese on the border with Thailand) and Kyaing Tong, a center of tourism for the small number of foreign tourists who visit the country each year.

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