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Myanmar quake rocks Southeast Asia

A magnitude-6.9 temblor has struck Myanmar. The quake was felt in neighboring countries, where damaged buildings and casualties were reported. Myanmar's last major quake in 2012 left 26 dead and hundreds injured.

Authorities in Myanmar, Bangladesh and India were evaluating the damage Thursday after an overnight quake shook buildings to their foundations.

The US Geological Survey said the epicenter was in a sparsely populated jungle region approximately 170 kilometers (105 miles) northwest of Mandalay, Myanmar's second-largest city.

"There may be some destruction and damage. But it's difficult to know the (extent) of destruction at nighttime," Cho Cho Win, a lawmaker in the Sagaing region about 100 kilometers from the epicenter, told the AFP news agency.

Residents of Myanmar's largest city, Yangon, felt tremors and many fled their multistory apartment buildings out of fear of collapse, according to media reports.

The quake also did damage in Bangladesh - the world's most densely populated country - where Bangladeshi Channel 24 reported more than 80 injuries across the country, mostly from stampedes, as panicked people fled their homes and offices.

"Around 50 people were injured in the Chittagong city, including 24 who were admitted to hospital with minor injuries. They were mostly injured in stampedes," city police constable Imran Hossain told AFP.

Meanwhile in the Indian state of West Bengal, people were evacuated from their homes and high-rise buildings in the state capital, Kolkata.

"I could feel the building swaying," Anjali Malik, a resident of a 13th-floor apartment, told news channel ABP Ananda. "It was scary."

Strong tremors were also felt in Tibet, with some residents of the provincial capital Lhasa fanning out into the streets, China's official news agency Xinhua reported.

Echoes of 2012

Myanmar Birma Erdbeben

A 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck the center of Myanmar on November 11, 2012. At least 26 people were killed and hundreds were injured.

The Southeast Asian nation, which is now emerging from decades of military rule, has a strained medical system, especially in its rural states.

There were no immediate reports of deaths, although the remote region where the earthquake hit has poor communications infrastructure.

jar/kl (AFP, dpa, AP)

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