Virginia, Aug 24: An earthquake of 6.8 magnitude hit Myanmar on Wednesday (Aug 22) afternoon, the US Geological Survey said. [38 killed in Italy earthquake]
At least one person was killed while around 60 pagodas in the ancient city of Bagan were damaged, official sources said. The quake, which according to the USGS hit at a depth of 84 kilometres, was also felt in neighbouring countries like Thailand, India and Bangladesh, causing panic among the residents. The news of one death, which occurred in the Magway region, was given by Han Zaw Win, an MP from Pakokku township, said AFP. [Myanmar death toll rises to 4]
"A 22 year-old man was killed when a nearby building collapsed during the earthquake," AFP quoted him as saying. One woman was also injured, said the report.
The damage in Bagan, Myanmar's most renowned archaeological site and a major tourist destination located some 30 kilometres north of the quake's centre, was extensive.
"About 60 pagodas in Bagan were damaged. Some were seriously damaged," AFP quoted Aung Kyaw, the director of Bagan's culture department, sa saying.
A Spanish tourist was also slightly injured as she was thrown down from a temple where she was watching the sunset.
The USGS said the earthquake's impact would be "relatively localised" but warned that many buildings in the region are "highly vulnerable" to shakin, the AFP report said.
Soe Win, an MP from Chauk, a riverside town located near the epicentre, said it was the worst earthquake it has witnessed over the years. More than eight pagodas collapsed there as well, besides two buildings while cracks developed in some others.
Earthquakes are not uncommon in Myanmar although the southeastern country hasn't seen a major quake since 2012, the AFP report said.
Tremors in Kolkata, Patna, Guwahati
Tremors were also felt in West Bengal, Bihar and Northeast in neighbouring India. In Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal, people were seen coming out onto the streets while the underground city railway service was disrupted. The Bengal secretariat in Kolkata was shut down for the day because of the quake.
The tremors in Kolkata lasted quite a few seconds, said reports. Offices and colleges in the city were evacuated.
Tremors were also felt in Patna, the capital of Bihar, for around three seconds and also in Guwahati in Assam.
The epicentre was reportedly located over 500 kilometres from the Indian border.
[With agency inputs]