November 11, 2012 – A Powerful 6.8 Magnitude Earthquake Struck Myanmar (Burma): Updated Nov. 11th – see last paragraph. The great quake struck at 1:12AM GMT (London) and 7:42AM at the epicenter. It was 116 kilometers (72 miles) north of Mandalay, Myanmar and 572 kilometers (356 miles) east of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Because the quake struck at a shallow 9 kilometers (5 miles) it caused major damage and loss of life. Cities and towns around the epicenter will see serious repercussions from this potent earthquake.
(Reuters) – A major earthquake measuring 6.8 magnitude struck central Myanmar on Sunday, around 116 km (72 miles) northwest of the city of Mandalay, the U.S Geological Survey said.
There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries from the quake, which was initially measured at 7.0 magnitude then reclassified to 6.6 then 6.8; and which was quiet shallow at around 9km (5 miles) deep.
Residents from Mandalay, the second biggest commercial city in central Myanmar, told Reuters that they felt a very strong tremor at about 7:30 a.m. [actual time per the USGS was 7:42AM].
“I’ve never felt such [a] strong tremor. I also heard some loud noises and the light went out. No idea about the damage,” a local resident said.
Several very strong aftershocks also hit the region.
Mandalay Meteorological Department said the quake hit on the west bank of the Ayeyawaddy River, Myanmar’s largest river and most important commercial waterway, but it had not yet received reports of damage.
Residents in Bangkok, the capital of neighboring Thailand, also said the felt the strong quake.
Myanmar is among Asia’s poorest countries.
Its quasi-civilian government has opened up the country since taking over in March 2011 from the military, which had ruled for nearly 50 years, and pushed through political and economic reforms, leading Western countries to relax sanctions.
Burmese officials say that at least five people are dead and several are missing after a strong earthquake hit northern Burma Sunday, causing terrified residents to flee swaying buildings. The U.S. Geological Survey said the 6.6-magnitude quake hit before 8 a.m. local time, 117 kilometers north of the city of Mandalay, at a depth of just 10 kilometers. The shallow quake was felt in Bangkok, the capital of neighboring Thailand. The earthquake was followed by aftershocks. So far, the worst damage reported was a bridge under construction that partially collapsed. Some construction workers on the bridge being built across the Irrawaddy River east of Shwebo were reported to be missing. There was also minor damage to pagodas and other structures in the area. The quake comes just a week ahead of a scheduled visit to Burma by U.S. President Barack Obama. He will be the first U.S. president to visit the one-time pariah nation, which is emerging from decades of military dictatorship.
The Master of Disaster