The US Geological Survey reported that an earthquake measuring 6.9 magnitude struck Myanmar yesterday evening local time. Its tremors could be felt in the north-eastern Indian state of Assam where the Duke and Duchess of cambridge stopped for two nights on their Royal tour of India and Bhutan. The quake could also be felt in China.
The earthquake struck outlying areas in Myanmar where communication is difficult and the infrastructure is weak. It took place at a depth of 140km, (87 miles) and lasted for two minutes. It struck 396 kilometers (246 miles) north-west of Myanmar’s capital, Naypyidaw. People fled buildings in a panic in Yangon, Myanmar’s main city, in the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka, and in Kolkata India. As of the writing of this article, no fatalities have been reported, though large structures were reported to have been seen to shake on their foundations. One of which was a seven-story hospital where staff and patients were sent running from the building on to the streets. The force of the quake sent mounted televisions in a news studio in Assam’s capital city crashing to the ground.
Tremors in Myanmar, formerly Burma are quite common. They can easily be felt, but are likely to cause less damage. This quake occurred at intermediate depth, which according to the article by the BBC, this means that it took place “within the Indian tectonic plate as it subducts beneath .”
The British royals and their party were visiting Assam’s Kaziranga National Park. “We felt the tremor very strongly, but all is fine,” British Deputy High Commissioner Scott Furssedonn-Wood said. He stayed at the same jungle resort as the Duke and Duchess.
This isn’t the first earthquake to strike Myanmar. In March, 2011, an earthquake hit the country near its borders with Laos and Thailand, killing seventy-five people.