Myanmar quake: Images from Bagan historic sites

Cheryl Sanders
August 31, 2016

"There were foreign tourists there as well", said Khin Maung Toe, a Myanmar man who was visiting Bagan for the first time when the quake struck.

A 6.8 magnitude quake hit Myanmar on August 24.

Visiting the site, Myanmar's President Htin Kyaw said rebuilding work would not start until October, after the monsoon season. Many are clamoring for the quick restoration of the ruined temples, but there are also those who want to preserve some of the damage in order to remind the people about the need to prepare for disasters.

For the second time in two days, several northeastern states were rocked on Wednesday by a quake in adjoining Myanmar, but there was no report of major damage, officials said. "Many people were scared and they ran out of the buildings", local official Maung Maung Kyaw said.

He added that one of the many fault lines on the belt - ranked among the world's two most active - runs north to south through Myanmar's central plain, placing the country's two largest cities - Mandalay and commercial capital Yangon - at risk.

Zaw Htay, a government spokesman, said Myanmar's de facto leader and veteran democracy activist Aung Sang Suu Kyi has urged authorities "not to rush" in renovating the damaged temples.

The quake was so intense that it could be felt in neighbouring countries such as Thailand, India and Bangladesh. Damage was reported in the ancient city of Began and the town of Salin, among other areas.

"So far as we heard from our local staff, a three-storey building collapsed in Chauk and a pagoda was badly damaged in a town called Yenanchaung", a fire department official in the regional capital Magwe told Reuters. "There have also been reports of damage to smaller, more basic buildings including a collapsed wall and a destroyed roof". "There has been no report of any damage", Kolkata Metro CPRO Indrani Banerjee said.

The quake, which the US Geological Survey said hit at a depth of 84 kilometres (52 miles), was also felt across neighbouring Thailand, India and Bangladesh, sending panicked residents rushing onto the streets.

According to the Ministry of Religion and Culture, 171 pagodas were affected there and 19 were damaged elsewhere in the country.

The 6.8 magnitude quake shook buildings across the Southeast Asia nation. It caused no reported casualties and only minor damage.

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