- Title: MYANMAR: At least six killed in earthquake north of Myanmar
- Date: 11th November 2012
- Summary: RESIDENTS SITTING UNDER MAKESHIFT TENTS
- Embargoed: 26th November 2012 12:00
- Location: Myanmar
- Country: Myanmar
- Topics: Disasters,Environment / Natural World
- Reuters ID: LVA7R0Q2ZM3COX0EHC912OUUYRR7
- Story Text: Workers missing and at least six people dead after bridge collapses in Myanmar earthquake.
An earthquake struck central Myanmar on Sunday (November 11) near its second-biggest city, Mandalay, killing at least six people.
The death toll is likely to rise as part of an unfinished bridge fell into the Irrawaddy River and workers said several of their colleagues were missing.
The earthquake, rated at magnitude 6.8 by the local meteorological service, struck around 60 kilometres (37 miles) northwest of Mandalay near the town of Shwebo at 7:41 a.m. (0111 GMT), and was shallow at around 10 kilometres (6 miles) deep.
A half-built bridge over the Irrawaddy River between Kyauk Myaung and Singgu collapsed in to the water below as workers tried to escape danger.
"One of the workers from the bridge jumped down and escaped with the water current. But the painters on the bridge were lost because of the earthquake," said Tun Khaing, a ferry boat driver.
"Five people missing," he added.
State television, the usual mouthpiece for government statements in Myanmar along with state-run newspapers, said 15 people from the bridge construction site were missing.
It gave no death toll but said a number of religious buildings and pagodas had been destroyed or damaged.
Media in Myanmar reported minor damage in several places around Mandalay, including Amarapura, a town popular with tourists because of its monasteries and the longest teak bridge in the world. Pagodas had been damaged there, media said.
One local source who declined to be named said at least 10 people were trapped in a gold mine in the Singgu area, where there are many small-scale mines.
A police officer in Singgu Township opposite Kyauk Myaung on the east side of the Irrawaddy, told Reuters that four people had died there and another nine were injured in the earthquake.
Reports suggest damage was limited as several strong aftershocks hit the region. Residents in neighbouring Thailand, Laos and even in Yunnan province in China reported feeling the quake.
President Barack Obama is set to become the first U.S. leader to visit Myanmar this month, the strongest international endorsement of the country's fragile democratic transition.
Obama will travel to Myanmar during a November 17-20 tour of Southeast Asia that will also take him to Thailand and Cambodia. It will be his first international trip since winning a second term last week.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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