Magnitude 6.9 earthquake strikes north-west Myanmar

A magnitude 6.9 earthquake struck Myanmar late Wednesday, according to the United States Geological Survey. 

The epicentre was located about 170 kilometers north-west of Mandalay, Myanmar's second largest city. 

According to local officials, there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage. The USGS estimated the quake's depth at 135 kilometres. 

Social media users as far away as the coastal city of Yangon and neighbouring India and Nepal reported feeling the earthquake. 

The tremors were felt across north-eastern India and eastern West Bengal state and other parts of eastern and central India.

In the West Bengal capital Kolkata people rushed out of their homes and high-rise buildings were evacuated, local news channel ABP Anando reported. There were reports of cracks in some buildings.

"I could feel the building swaying," said Anjali Malik, resident of a 13th-floor apartment. "It was scary."  

The underground rail system was stopped for five minutes, Kolkata Metro spokeswoman Indrani Banerjee said.

Four people were admitted to hospital in Siliguri town in West Bengal, ABP Anando reported. They had suffered injuries when they rushed out of their homes in panic, doctors at the hospital where they were being treated said.

Two people were similarly injured in Imphal, capital of Manipur state, which borders Myanmar. 

Electricity was switched off as a precautionary measure for a while in parts of Assam and in the Meghalaya capital Shillong.

Rescuers evacuated residents from four multi-storeyed buildings that had tilted in the Bangladeshi city of Chittagong after the earthquake, officials said.

At least 20 people sustained minor injuries as they were trying to hurry out of a six-storey shopping complex, one of the buildings that had tilted during the quake, said Sarwar Jahan, an on-duty officer at the Fire Service and Civil Defence department.

"We have evacuated the residents from those buildings immediately after the quake heavily shook the city," he said, adding that one person was taken to hospital for treatment after he suffered injuries after a wall collapsed at a residential building.     

Chittagong is nearly 300 kilometres away from the epicentre of the earthquake.

Jolted into panic during the tremor in the evening, many people in the capital Dhaka came out of their homes. 

Last update: Wed, 13/04/2016 - 20:22
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