Earth tremors cause concern in Bogalay township

Oct 16, 2008 (DVB), Residents of Bogalay township in Irrawaddy division have reported experiencing regular earth tremors without warning since 12 October, and say this is causing anxiety among locals.

Bogalay was one of the townships most affected when Cyclone Nargis struck the region in May.

One local resident said there had been three tremors on 12 October and they had been occurring on a daily basis since then.

"There has been at least one tremor a day; that’s why people are panicking a bit," he said.

"They are happening everyday. They quite powerful, my estimation would be about 5 on the Richter scale. Normally, there is just one jolt, and it doesn't last that long," he explained.

"It is more noticeable in wooden houses and temporary homes."

Another Bogalay resident said the tremors were becoming less frequent.

"Our wooden house was shaking hard. But they are happening less often. The way it trembles now is different," the resident said.

"In my experience, it happens twice a day. I cannot sleep in peace for fear that [the house] might collapse during the night or day," he said.

"During the day you can see and hear but what would happen if it occurs at night?"

The residents said there had been no warning about the tremors in state media.

"They used to report [earth tremors] in the newspapers with details of the epicentre and where it was on the Richter scale," one resident said.

"But there is no mention of them now in the state-owned media. That’s why people are feeling alarmed by the tremors."

Another Bogalay resident said locals needed guidance on what measures to take to protect themselves and their property.

"After the eight o’clock news, when they gave the weather report, I heard nothing," the resident said.

"There was no warning before the tremors and no report afterwards," he went on.

"Nobody can tell for sure when and where they will happen, but they should at least tell us how we should protect ourselves and what preparations we should make."

Reporting by Naw Say Phaw

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