Myanmar shudders through powerful earthquake

  • 24/08/2016
(Twitter / @portnewshub)
(Twitter / @portnewshub)

A powerful 6.8 earthquake has shaken central Myanmar and resulted in the deaths of three people, only hours after a 6.2 earthquake rocked Italy.

It struck around 143km west of the city of Meiktila at around 5pm on Wednesday (local time), around 84km deep.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said the quake hit near the town of Chauk, southwest of Mandalay.

A fire department official from regional capital Magwe said two young girls were killed when a riverbank gave way in Yenanchaung township, south of Chauk.

One person was killed and another injured when a tobacco processing factory collapsed in the town of Pakkoku, to the north, the duty officer at the local fire department said.

The quake has been widely felt across the region, with tremors felt hundreds of kilometres to the west in India and to the east in Thailand's capital of Bangkok.

It was strong enough to damage temples in Bagan, an ancient city in the centre of Myanmar, according to witnesses at the scene.

 

"I heard screaming as they told everyone to run outside," a Canadian tourist says.

"I saw the temple just fell over. I thought, 'This is just like a disaster movie'. It's not real."

There were no other confirmed casualties, and early reports suggested limited damage overall.

The quake struck at a relatively deep 84km, the USGS said.

Myanmar is in a seismically active part of the world where the Indo-Australian Plate runs up against the Eurasian Plate.

In March, 2011, at least 74 people were killed in an earthquake in Myanmar near its borders with Thailand and Laos.

Newshub. / AAP