A strong earthquake struck central Myanmar on Sunday leaving at least five people killed, according to reports by local media. Scattered damage and injuries were also reported close to the earthquake’s epicenter.
The most significant damage took place in the town of Shwebo when a bridge under construction across the Irrawaddy River collapsed, reports Fox News.
Shwebo, which was also the location of the quake’s epicenter, saw five people killed when the bridge, which was 80 percent complete, collapsed. Soe Soe, a 52-year-old resident of Shwebo, stated:
“This is the worst earthquake I felt in my entire life.”
More damage was reported in Magrok, a major gem-mining area east of the epicenter. Temples and abandoned ruby mines were damaged according to Sein Win, one of the town’s residents.
The US Geological Survey reported that the earthquake’s magnitude was 6.6 and had a depth of just six miles (10 kilometers). The earthquake struck around 7:42 am local time, according to an official from the Meteorological Department in Naypyitaw.
Boston.com notes that there were no reports of major damage in Myanmar’s second largest city, Mandalay. The city is roughly 72 miles south of the quake’s epicenter and is in the region’s only population center.
Mandalay residents reported that the earthquake was strong enough that people rushed from their homes for safety, but that there was no major damage to structures, though some walls appeared cracked.
The area hit hardest by the Myanmar earthquake is frequently struck by small tremblors that cause little to no damage. Sunday’s earthquake, however, was strong enough that it was felt in neighboring country Thailand’s capital city of Bangkok.