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February 26, 2018

Major earthquake strikes central Myanmar, kills three, destroys pagodas

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A powerful 6.8 magnitude earthquake shook central Myanmar yesterday, killing three people and damaging famous pagodas in Bagan and other regions.
The earthquake, with its epicenter inside Myanmar, about 12 miles west of Chauk and about 123 miles southwest of the Mandalay seismological observatory, was recorded at 5.04 pm, according to the announcement of the Meteorology and Hydrology Department. It was felt, in varying degrees, by virtually everyone in the country, officials said.
Two young girls aged seven and 15 were killed when a riverbank gave way in Yenangyoung, said an official of the local Information and Public Relations Department.
Meanwhile, following the quake, the Myanmar Fire Services Department wrote a post on its Facebook page confirming that one man was killed and one woman was injured in Pakokku when a tobacco processing factory collapsed.
About 185 pagodas in Bagan were damaged in the disaster. Evaluation of the damage is still being carried out, said U Aung Aung Kyaw, the Director of the Archaeology Department in Bagan.
Several pagodas in Rakhine State were also reportedly damaged by the earthquake, which is considered the strongest among the 26 quakes that have jolted the country since January 2016.
The quake emanated from a depth of 84 km (52 miles), the US Geological Survey (USGS) said. The quake also shook buildings in Nay Pyi Taw and Yangon and in other towns and cities.


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