Powerful Earthquake Hits Central Myanmar

Photo: Khin Maung Win/AP Images.
A powerful earthquake hit central Myanmar on Wednesday, just hours after another major quake devastated central Italy.

The 6.8 magnitude earthquake hit the Southeast Asian country in the Bagan region near the town of Chauk, according to Reuters. Reports of fatalities have varied, but appear to be low. Local officials told the news agency that there had been three deaths, including two children who were killed when a riverbank collapsed.

The U.S. Geological Survey said that the quake was relatively deep, hitting at about 52 miles below the earth’s surface. Deep earthquakes generally cause less damage.

The Associated Press reported that the epicentre of the earthquake was in an area where quakes are common, but don’t usually cause high casualties because there are no densely populated cities. Though reports of casualties are minimal, the Ministry of Religious and Cultural Affairs told the AP that more than 65 ancient Buddhist pagodas had been damaged in the quake. The Bagan region is a major tourist attraction for the country.

Tremors from the quake were felt as far as Bangladesh, Thailand, and India, according to the BBC, but no international fatalities have been reported.

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