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Earthquake rocks towns, cities in northern Myanmar
Publication Date : 07-05-2014
An earthquake measuring 5.8 on the Richter Scale shook Thailand and Myanmar on Monday around 5:48 pm, causing tremors that were felt in Taungoo, Kengtung, Mandalay, Nay Pyi Taw and Yangon.
The epicentre of the quake was said to be in northern Thailand, according to the Department of Meteorology and Hydrology (DMH), with the city of Kyaingtong being the closest but most damage occurring in Tachilake.
“This region has fault lines aligned northeast to southwest and also known as the Golden Triangle Fault Line. Probably, one of these lines might cause the quake. Tachilake would be damaged the most. It also struck Mandalay but no fatalities reported so far,” informed by Soe Thura Tun, vice secretary general of the DMH.
Meteorologist Dr. Tun Lwin warned the residents in eastern Shan State about aftershocks.
“As the epicentre was along the Thai-Lao-Myanmar borderline, it also struck some cities in Myanmar and Laos too. The residents of eastern Shan State should be cautious about aftershocks,” Dr. Tun Lwin explained.
Residents in Yangon felt the tremors, with many living in high rise buildings evacuating as a precaution.
“I live on the eigth floor and did not notice when it began at 5:30pm. The building and ceiling lights shook gradually then everyone in our building were evacuated from the building,” said one resident from Pearl Condominium.
The all-white Wat Rongkhun temple was closed due to safety concerns after the earthquake and streets, buildings and some Buddhist temples in Thailand also cracked by tremor, reported by the National Broadcast Channel (NBC).
"The spire of the main building came off and the tiles on the roof fell off," Chalermchai Kositpiphat, the artist who designed the temple, told Nation TV. "I still don't know how we can sleep tonight… It was shaking the whole time and then aftershocks followed four to five times. It was tumbling like the earth was going to explode.”
The NBC covered that the head of Buddha image in Udomwaree Temple fell and ceiling from some houses collapsed. Passengers evacuated the terminal in Chiang Rai airport, in northern Thailand near the epicentre, when pieces of the ceiling began to fall.
Earthquakes are common in the region with underground rifts stretching along the Myanmar-Thailand border. An 6.4 magnitude earthquake was recorded in 2007 and a 6.8 magnitude earthquake hit the same area in 2011.