Quake rocks Myanmar killing at least three

A powerful 6.8 magnitude quake caused significant damage in one of the most seismically hazardous regions on Earth.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Rescue efforts underway after the earthquake in Myanmar on August 24, 2016.

An earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter Scale hit Myanmar on Wednesday killing more than three people including children.

The quake also shook high rise buildings and damaged property.

The quake struck near the town of Chauk, southwest of Mandalay, the country’s second largest city, Myanmar’s department of meteorology and hydrology said.

Officials say two young girls were killed when a riverbank gave way in Yenanchaung township, south of Chauk.

One person was killed and another injured when a tobacco processing factory collapsed in the nearby town of Pakkoku.

There were no other confirmed casualties.

Police say the quake damaged many Buddhist temples in the ancient city of Bagan.  

"Some famous pagodas were damaged during the earthquake," a tourist police officer from Bagan said.

Residents of Myanmar’s most popular city Yangon were evacuated from tall buildings due to a risk of collapse.

"My house shook during the quake. Many people were scared and they ran out of the buildings," said local politician Maung Maung Kyaw.

"Some of the old buildings have cracks. The biggest damage is to the bank building in the town. The damage to other buildings isn't that significant."

US Geological Survey say the quake happened at "one of the most seismically hazardous regions on Earth."

The quake which had an epicenter at a depth of 84 kilometers was also felt in Thailand, Bangladesh, India, Laos and China.

On Tuesday, a 5.5 magnitude earthquake hit the Myanmar-India border region.  

Myanmar Ministry of Religious and Cultural Affairs and the Myanmar Earthquake Committee said the quake may lead to more serious damage.

TRTWorld and agencies