Strong earthquake hits Burma and felt as far as India

  • The Independent |
  • Wednesday 13 April 2016
 People crowd onto the street during an earthquake in Agartala, capital of India's northeastern state of Tripura, on April 13, 2016. AFP/Getty Images

People crowd onto the street during an earthquake in Agartala, capital of India’s northeastern state of Tripura, on April 13, 2016. AFP/Getty Images

A 6.9 magnitude earthquake has struck Burma, with tremors being felt as far away as India.

The US Geological Survey recorded the epicentre 46 miles south-east of Mawlaik, at a depth of around 80 miles.

Phil Hughes, who works in the country’s second-largest city of Mandalay, told The Independent that he felt shaking for around a minute but was unhurt.

“Everything seems normal where I am,” he adding, saying he had seen no damage.

There were scenes of panic in Yangon after the quake struck, according to witnesses, but authorities there said there were no immediate reports of injuries.

An Associated Press journalist who was in one of the city’s hospitals at the time said the seven-story building shook strongly twice, for at least a minute.

Many people in the hospital, including patients, staff and visitors, ran out of the building and began calling their loved ones.

Aung Thu, who was taking care of his elder brother, said: “I was sleeping on my bed when suddenly I felt the ground shaking. The first time it was intense, but the second time it was lighter.”

He said he was on the third floor of the Shwegonedine Specialist Center hospital, and as soon as he felt the quake he called his wife and son to tell them to be “prepared for the worst.”

The quake, centered in the jungle and hills northwest of Mandalay, hit at 2.55pm BST – 8.25pm local time.

Strong tremors were felt in India’s eastern city of Guwahati and other areas of Assam near where the Duke and the Duchess of Cambridge are visiting during their royal tour.

“We felt the tremor very strongly, but all is fine,” said British Deputy High Commissioner Scott Furssedonn-Wood, who was staying in the same jungle resort as the royal couple.

In Assam’s capital, Gauhati, people rushed outdoors as they felt strong tremors and buildings swaying, while a failure at a power station caused outages in several parts of the state.

People also reported feeling shaking West Bengal, Tripura and in Bangladesh’s capital, Dhaka, 300 miles from the epicentre.

Burma is affected by seismic activity in the Himalayas caused by the continuing collision between the Indian and Eurasian continental plates.

The USGS calls the area “one of the most seismically hazardous regions on earth” because of the numerous earthquakes generated.

Several fault-lines run through Burma, which has seen several major earthquakes and deadly landslides in recent decades.

Additional reporting by agencies

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