Thursday, March 24, 2011

Earthquake in Myanmar

Shocking news received this morning..
another earthquake occur after 13 days Japan's Earthquake and Tsunami..
this time, not far from Malaysia..
in Myanmar and Thailand...

BANGKOK — A severe earthquake of 6.8 magnitude struck a sparsely populated mountain area in the Golden Triangle region of northeastern Myanmar Thursday, but although the tremors were felt over a wide radius, initial reports of damage and injuries were light.

One person in northern Thailand was reported killed, a bridge was destroyed near the epicenter, homes were damaged in southern China and buildings shook as far away as Bangkok, Hanoi and Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city.

Buildings were damaged near the epicenter in Myanmar’s Shan State and villagers continued to feel aftershocks for several hours, according to an official with World Vision in Myanmar. But reports of any damage and injuries were slow to emerge overnight from the remote mountains and valleys.

The area affected is landlocked, and no tsunami warning was issued.

One woman was killed in the Thai border city of Chiang Rai, about 70 miles south of the epicenter, when a wall fell on her as she was sleeping, Thai television reported. Some people there said they were shaken from their beds or ran into the streets. One woman attending a funeral said she clung to a pole to stay upright.

“I felt I was swaying like a child in a cradle,” the woman, Nutpisut Thongkika, a 50-year-old teacher, said in a telephone interview from Chiang Rai. “The situation here was very chaotic when the earthquake hit.”

Thai television said no serious damage was reported in Chiang Rai.

Many tourists in nearby Chiangmai fled their hotels and remained for hours in the streets.

The United States Geological Survey said the earthquake was just six miles deep, meaning that severe shaking could have caused major damage to buildings in a wide area. It also reported a smaller quake, of 4.8 magnitude, about a half-hour later.

Buildings shook for more than a minute in China’s nearby Yunnan Province and many residents fled their homes in Nanning City, the capital of Guangxi Autonomous Region, the Xinhua news agency reported. It said officials were investigating the extent of the damage.

Another earthquake on March 10 in Yunnan Province in southwest China took 26 lives and destroyed a number of schools, Xinhua reported.

The tremors Thursday caused panic in Hanoi, 380 miles to the east of the epicenter, where residents said they heard the shattering of windows, the Vietnam News Agency reported. Tall buildings shook and chandeliers swayed in Bangkok, 480 miles to the south.

Hours after the quake, people in villages near the epicenter remained in the streets afraid to return indoors, said Jenny McIntyre, communications manager in Yangon for World Vision, a children’s aid agency.

“These are subsistence farmers, simple people who have got simple water systems which will potentially be threatened,” she said, adding that the damaged bridge had cut off an area near the epicenter.

She said she also felt the tremors in Yangon, 350 miles to the southwest. “I suddenly felt really sick and strange and I realized that everything was rocking and the lightshades were all rocking,” she said.

Wongdeun Kongcharoen, 34, a hotel manager in Chiang Rai, said the earthquake cracked the walls of houses and scattered glassware and other belongings in all directions.

“People here are still nervous and staying outside,” she said about two hours after the tremors. “We feel like the situation that happened in Japan. It was so scary.”

She said a Japanese friend told her the shaking was light compared to earthquakes in that country. “But this was the first time for us to experience a situation like this,” Ms. Wongden said. “So that’s why we were still outside and still scared.”

Poypiti Amatatham contributed reporting from Bangkok.

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