Strong quake strikes Myanmar, 12 feared dead

November 12, 2012 • World News

A boat near the bridge damaged by a strong earthquake, in Kyaukmyaung township, Shwebo, Sagaing Division, northwest of Mandalay, Myanmar., Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012, A strong earthquake of magnitude-6.8 struck northern Myanmar on Sunday, collapsing a bridge and a gold mine, damaging several old Buddhist pagodas and leaving as many as 12 people feared dead(AP Photo)

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — A strong earthquake collapsed a bridge and damaged ancient Buddhist pagodas in northern Myanmar, and piecemeal reports from the underdeveloped mining region said mines collapsed and as many as 12 people were feared dead.

Myanmar’s Vice President Sai Mauk Hkam visited the damaged sites Monday, while authorities resumed their search for four missing workers near the collapsed bridge over the Irrawaddy River in Kyaukmyaung.

A slow release of official information left the actual extent of the damage unclear after Sunday morning’s magnitude-6.8 quake. Myanmar has a poor official disaster response system and lost upward of 140,000 people to a devastating cyclone in 2008.

“We have been told by the director of Relief and Resettlement Department that there were seven dead and 45 injured as of late Sunday evening. The figure could fluctuate,” said Ashok Nigam, the U.N. development program’s resident representative. He told The Associated Press that U.N. agencies had offered aid but “no formal request has been made yet.”

Myanmar’s second-biggest city of Mandalay is the nearest population center to the main quake but reported no casualties or major damage. Mandalay lies about 117 kilometers (72 miles) south of the epicenter near the town of Shwebo, and the smaller towns in the area that is a center for mining of minerals and gemstones were Login to read more

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