Deadly 6.8-magnitude earthquake rocks in Burma capital

Notably, the 6.8-magnitude quake hit some 120km (70 miles) north of the second-largest city of Mandalay, collapsing a bridge, damaging several old Buddhist pagodas and leaving at least seven people dead.

However, the Burma’s local media told, a bridge under construction collapsed in the town of Shwebo, closest to the epicentre.

Mostly, damage to centuries-old Buddhist temples is a common result of Burma earthquakes, but regarded by the superstitious as a bad omen.

Surprisingly, the so-called “umbrella” atop a stupa in Mogok had reportedly crashed down in Sunday’s quake. Nevertheless, these uppermost parts of the brick domes usually have encased in them relics of the Buddha and small Buddha images, and sometimes jewels.

Reportedly, an official from the Meteorological Department in the capital, Naypyitaw, told, the magnitude-6.8 quake struck at 7:42 a.m. local time. The shallow 6.8-magnitude quake hit around 116km north of Mandalay at a depth of just 10km, the US Geological Survey (USGS) told. It initially put the magnitude of the quake at 7.0.

However, according to news reports, the most significant damage appeared to be the collapse of bridge under construction across the Irrawaddy River east of Shwebo. A police officer in Shwebo said five construction workers who had been working on the Radana Thinga Bridge near the town were missing after “a huge steel beam fell into the river.

While, the website of Weekly eleven magazines said six people were killed and 28 injured when the bridge, which was 83 percent built, collapsed. The local government announced a toll of four dead and 18 injured. All of the victims appeared to be workers.

Earlier, it comes just a week ahead of a scheduled visit to Burma, also known as Myanmar, by 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 rule.

About Marc Brentwood

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