Strong quake in central Myanmar kills at least six

Sun Nov 11, 2012 9:16am EST
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By Aung Hla Tun

YANGON (Reuters) - An earthquake struck central Myanmar on Sunday near its second-biggest city, Mandalay, killing at least six people, with the death toll likely to rise as part of an unfinished bridge fell into the Irrawaddy River and several workers were missing.

The earthquake, put at magnitude 6.8 by the local meteorological service, struck around 60 km (37 miles) northwest of Mandalay near the town of Shwebo at 7:41 a.m. (0111 GMT), and was quite shallow at around 10 km (6 miles) deep.

A police officer in Shwebo said two people had died and 20 had been injured in nearby Kyauk Myaung.

"A house collapsed in Kyauk Myaung. The Radana Thinga Bridge, still under construction, over the river was badly damaged. A huge steel beam fell into the river and five workers went missing," he told Reuters.

State television, the usual mouthpiece for government statements in Myanmar along with state-run newspapers, said 15 people from the bridge construction site were missing.

It gave no death toll but said a number of religious buildings and pagodas had been destroyed or damaged.

Media in Myanmar reported minor damage in several places around Mandalay, including Amarapura, a town popular with tourists because of its monasteries and the longest teak bridge in the world. Pagodas had been damaged there, media said.

One local source who declined to be named said at least 10 people were trapped in a gold mine in the Singgu area, where there are many small-scale mines.   Continued...

A man walks near a Buddhist pagoda that was badly damaged by an earthquake in the village of Ma Lar at Kyauk Myaung township November 11, 2012. REUTERS/Stringer