Myanmar quake death toll at 11, aftershocks rumble

Mon Nov 12, 2012 5:54am EST
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By Aung Hla Tun

YANGON (Reuters) - Aftershocks rattled central Myanmar after an earthquake that killed at least 11 people, with that toll likely to rise on Monday as several workers were missing after a half-built bridge collapsed on the Irrawaddy River.

The magnitude 6.8 earthquake early on Sunday struck about 60 km (37 miles) northwest of Mandalay, Myanmar's second-biggest city, near the town of Shwebo. It was felt in Thailand and other neighboring countries.

Several large aftershocks were felt during the day and state television said one of 5.7 magnitude hit just after midnight.

"We can confirm that a total of 11 are dead, while over 50 are injured and four are missing," a senior official at the Ministry of Relief and Resettlement told Reuters, asking not to be identified as he was not authorized to speak to the media.

Damage from the shallow initial earthquake was not as serious as first feared, but small towns near the epicenter suffered.

In Thabeikkyin, a town of 4,200 people on the east bank of the Irrawaddy north of Mandalay, three people died and 35 were injured, according to official media, which said Vice-President Sai Mauk Kham visited the town on Sunday.

About 100 houses, four schools and 21 Buddhist religious buildings were reported damaged there.

A police officer in Shwebo said on Sunday that two people had died and 20 had been injured in nearby Kyauk Myaung. The Radana Thinga Bridge being built over the river in the area had collapsed and five workers were missing, he said.   Continued...

A man sits under the Radana Thinga Bridge over the Irrawaddy River, still under construction, after it collapsed following an earthquake near Singgu Township November 11, 2012. 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. REUTERS/Stringer