A dozen feared dead after quake rattles Myanmar
A magnitude-6.8 earthquake struck northern Myanmar, damaging structures in small towns and injuring people. Official reports as to the exact number killed have conflicted, but about 12 are thought to be dead.
A strong earthquake of magnitude-6.8 struck northern Myanmar on Sunday, collapsing a bridge and a gold mine, damaging several old Buddhist pagodas and leaving as many as 12 people feared dead.
A slow release of official information left the actual extent of the damage unclear after Sunday morning's strong quake. Myanmar has a poor official disaster response system, despite having lost upwards of 140,000 people to a devastating cyclone in 2008.
Myanmar's second-biggest city of Mandalay reported no casualties or major damage as the nearest major population center to the main quake Mandalay lies about 72 miles south of the quake's epicenter near the town of Shwebo.
The US Geological Society reported a 5.8-magnitude aftershock later Sunday, but there were no initial reports of new damage or casualties.
Smaller towns closer to the main quake's epicenter were worse-hit. A report late Sunday on state television MRTV said 100 homes, some government buildings and a primary school were damaged in the Thabeikyin, a town known for gold mining not far from the epicenter. It put the latest casualty toll from the quake at four dead, 53 injured and four missing, a death toll lower than independently compiled tallies of around a dozen.
An official from Myanmar's Meteorological Department said the magnitude-6.8 quake struck at 7:42 a.m. local time.
The area surrounding the epicenter is underdeveloped, and casualty reports were coming in piecemeal, mostly from local media. The region is a center for mining of minerals and gemstones, and several mines were reported to have collapsed.