State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has warned against haphazard repair of the toppled spires of the pagodas, following a 6.8 magnitude earthquake that struck the ancient city of Bagan in central Myanmar yesterday.
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi urged them to get technical assistance from the World Heritage Centre of UNESCO.According to the US Geological Survey, the quake struck 25km (15.5 miles) west of Chauk, at a depth of 84km.
At least 200 pagodas in Bagan have been damaged, Deputy Director General U Zaw Htay of the President’s Office said, adding that the state counsellor had instructed the Ministry of Religious and Cultural Affairs not to start the repair job in a hurry.
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi urged them to draw up a project plan with the technical assistance from the World Heritage Centre of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation. The UNESCO office in Yangon has deployed experts to assess the damage. U Zaw Htay described the move as part of a measure to preserve cultural heritage in the country’s archaeological site.
President U Htin Kyaw, teaming with five union ministers, is now in the country’s most venerated religious and cultural site.
Union Minister Thura U Aung Ko, also in Bagan, is meeting with officials of the cultural and geological departments to discuss the maintenance and renovation of the damaged pagodas in the top tourist destination.