Burma Quake Kills at Least 13 People, Collapses Bridge

Posted November 11th, 2012 at 11:25 am (UTC-5)
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Burmese officials and witnesses say a strong earthquake has killed at least 13 people and injured many others in the center of the country.

The 6.8 magnitude tremor struck an area about 110 kilometers north of the Burmese city of Mandalay at 7:42 a.m local time on Sunday. Several aftershocks followed, one of them with a magnitude of 5.8.

The biggest death toll from the shallow quake appeared to be at a bridge that collapsed while under construction over the Irrawaddy River near the town of Shwebo. At least four workers were killed and several others were missing.

Aid workers and Burmese media said a monastery collapsed in the village of Kyaukmyaung on the west side of the bridge, killing two people, while a gold mine collapsed in the village of Sintku on the east side, killing several more people. Witnesses also reported damage to old Buddhist pagodas in the underdeveloped region.

No major damage was reported in Mandalay, Burma's second largest city. The quake was felt in neighboring Thailand and its capital, Bangkok.

U.S. President Barack Obama is due to visit Burma later this month in the first such trip by a U.S. leader. The impoverished Asian nation is emerging from decades of military rule and isolation by the West.