Earthquake of magnitude 6.8 hits Myanmar; tremors felt in Bihar, Bengal, Assam

An earthquake of magnitude 6.8 hit central Myanmar on Wednesday and the tremors were also felt in parts of eastern India like Kolkata, Patna, Guwahati and in the state of Tripura.

The US Geological Survey said that the magnitude of the quake was 6.8 on the Richter scale. So far, no report of any casualty has come in.

The quake, which USGS said struck at a depth of 84 kilometres, swayed high-rise buildings in the Thai capital of Bangkok, AFP journalists reported.

The epicentre was near Chauk, a town on the Irrawaddy River several hundred kilometres northwest of Myanmar's capital Naypyidaw.

Soe Win, a regional MP from the township in Magway region, told AFP the tremors lasted for several minutes.

"There was also some sound as well. A pagoda collapsed in Salay and a building also collapsed," he said.

The USGS estimated that the impact would be "relatively localised" but noted that many buildings in the region are "highly vulnerable" to earthquake shaking.

Earthquake of magnitude 6.8 hits Myanmar; tremors felt in Bihar, Bengal, Assam

Representational image. PTI

The quake was felt throughout south and southwestern Bangladesh close to the border with Myanmar, with television footage showing residents running into the streets.

At least 20 people were injured as panicked workers tried to flee a building in the industrial area of Savar outside Dhaka, ATN Bangla television reported.

"All of us ran to the streets leaving the houses and shops unsecured as the quake seemed very dangerous," Nazmus Sakib from the southern city of Chittagong close to the Myanmar border wrote on his Facebook wall.

Metro services, which were temporarily suspended in Kolkata after the tremors were felt in the region, have resumed now, reported ANI. Reports have also said that no casualties have been reported in India so far.

Earthquakes are relatively common in Myanmar, though the country has not seen a major quake since 2012.

The last major quake struck in a nearby region in April and caused minor damages but no casualties.

This earthquake took place on a day when another powerful earthquake that rocked central Italy left 38 people dead.

Deaths were reported in the villages of Amatrice, Accumoli and Arquata del Tronto as residents and emergency services battled frantically to rescue people trapped beneath the ruins after the quake hit as people slept.

The magnitude 6 quake in Italy had struck at 3.36 am (1.36 am GMT) and a 5.4-magnitude aftershock followed an hour later. The tremors were felt across a broad swath of central Italy, including Rome where residents of the capital felt a long swaying followed by aftershocks.

The hardest-hit towns were Amatrice and Accumoli near Rieti, some 80 kilometers (50 miles) northeast of Rome, which were partially demolished. The centre of Amatrice was devastated, with entire palazzos razed to the ground. Rocks and metal tumbled onto the streets and dazed residents huddled in piazzas as aftershocks continued into the early morning hours.

As daylight dawned, residents, civil protection workers and even priests began digging out with shovels, bulldozers and their bare hands, trying to reach survivors.

Italy's forestry police had said they have extracted dozens of people alive from hard-hit Pescara del Tronto in Italy's Le Marche region, but rescue crews still haven't reached the nearby hamlet of Peracchia di Acqua Santa Terme.

The main road into and out of the town was covered in debris, making rescue difficult; residents were digging their neighbors out by hand. Photos taken from the air by regional firefighters showed much of the tiny town essentially flattened.

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Aug 24, 2016 17:47:50 IST

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