At least four people were killed and more than 200 temples and pagodas were damaged after a magnitude-6.8 earthquake rocked central Myanmar, the government said Thursday.
The earthquake struck at 1034 GMT Wednesday at a depth of 84.1 kilometres, the US Geological Survey’s Earthquake Hazards Programme said. Its epicentre was 25 kilometres west of the city of Chauk in the central region of the country.
Myanmar’s Ministry of Information said only four people, including two young girls aged 7 and 15, were killed by the quake as the affected areas were not densely populated.
However, around 230 temples and pagodas across five regions were damaged, the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Culture said.
The ancient city of Bagan was the worst affected area with 185 ancient temples and pagodas damaged, the Ministry said.
“Seven ancient pagodas including the Sulamani temple are seriously destroyed by the quake,” said Aung Kyaw Kyaw director-general of the Department of Archaeology.
The temple city of Bagan consists of approximately 3,000 structures dating from the ninth to the 14th century spread across the plain of Bagan in central Myanmar. The area is one of the country’s main tourist attractions.
The Ministry also said at least three ancient temples in Mrauk-U, an archaeologically significant town in Myanmar’s western Rakhine state, had been damaged.
Myanmar was struck by a magnitude 6.8 earthquake in 2012 which killed at least 26 people in central Myanmar.