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A strong earthquake measuring 6.9 on the Richter scale struck western Sagaing Division on Wednesday, causing damage to local buildings and pagodas but apparently sparing residents of the remote region near Burma’s border with India.
The earthquake, centered about 70 km west of Kantbalu, hit the region at 8:25 pm yesterday, according to the Myanmar Earthquake Committee.
The temblor, which had a depth of 122 km, was felt in most parts of Burma and in neighboring India and Bangladesh. The villages nearest to the epicenter were Pyinkaing, Thetkekyin and Bomazine.
Several pagodas in the area were slightly damaged by the quake, according to the Ministry of Information. The “diamond bud” at the top of the Shwe Mu Daw pagoda in Kani Township fell to the ground, and cracks had appeared in a seated Buddha statue at another monastery, the ministry said.
People living in the immediately affected areas reported strong tremors but only minor damage.
“We were sitting in the house when the cups on the altar started shaking until all the water splashed out,” said Myo Myint, a resident of Mawleik. “We got a bit of a fright and ran out of the house, but there was no real damage.”
In Kalay, Aye Nandar Soe of the local Red Cross told DVB that the quake was “quite strong.”
“Things started falling and children were running out of the house. I was very afraid. The [Union Solidarity and Development Party] guesthouse got a big crack in it.”
According to Burma’s Meteorology Department, mild aftershocks were experienced in the Mawleik area on Thursday afternoon.
A quake measuring 4.4 on the Richter scale was recorded about 48 km northwest of Mawleik, or 305 km northwest of Mandalay, shortly after noon today.