Myanmar earthquake kills at least 13

Featured - November 12th, 2012

At least 13 people were killed and dozens more injured in a strong earthquake that struck central Myanmar on Sunday.

The 6.8-magnitude earthquake hit around 117 kilometers (72 miles) north of Mandalay, Myanmar’s second biggest city, at a depth of 10 kilometers, and was followed by two shallow 5.0-magnitude aftershocks withing 20 minutes, the US Geological Survey said. The quake was felt in neighboring Thailand.

According to NGO Save The Children, the death toll included four labourers on a bridge and two people in a monastery collapse. Six more fatalities were reported in Sint Ku township, including two people killed when a gold mine caved in, and another in Mandalay.

The number of fatalities was relatively minimal when compared to the 6.8-magnitude earthquake that hit Myanmar in March 2011 near the borders with Thailand and Laos. More than 70 people were killed in that quake, but the country’s disaster response management has reportedly become more efficient since emerging from decades of military junta rule.

The quake comes ahead of newly re-elected US President Barack Obama’s historic visit to Myanmar.