Earth­quake hits Sa­gaing Re­gion

The Myanmar Times - - Front Page - PHYO WAI KYAW phy­owaikyaw@mm­times.com

A 5.0-mag­ni­tude earth­quake struck 80 kilo­me­tres south­east of Mawlaik town yes­ter­day, but caused no fa­ta­laties or in­juries, ac­cord­ing to the Myan­mar Earth­quake Com­mit­tee.

A 5.0-MAG­NI­TUDE earth­quake struck 80 kilo­me­tres (50 miles) south­east of Mawlaik township in Sa­gaing Re­gion yes­ter­day morn­ing, ac­cord­ing to the Myan­mar Earth­quake Com­mit­tee.

“The epi­cen­tre of the quake was about 110km deep,” said Myan­mar Earth­quake Com­mit­tee sec­re­tary U Myo Thant. “It is likely that it was caused by the slip­ping of the In­dian and Burma plates. No dam­age or fa­tal­i­ties have been re­ported.”

Seis­mome­ters, de­signed to mea­sure earth­quakes, are being in­stalled in Magwe, Sa­gaing and Man­dalay re­gions and Shan and Chin states. The in­stal­la­tions be­gan in May. There are 45 seis­mome­ters al­ready in place, with 20 more on their way, U Myo Thant said.

A 6.9-mag­ni­tude earth­quake struck in the same area in April, which was fol­lowed by a 6.8-mag­ni­tude quake near Chauk township, Magwe Re­gion, in Au­gust. The lat­ter killed four peo­ple and dam­aged hun­dreds of an­cient tem­ples across cen­tral Myan­mar.

The west bor­der of Man­dalay Re­gion, which is about 10-15km from the Sa­gaing fault, is over­due for a pow­er­ful, dam­ag­ing earth­quake, U Myo Thant said at a fo­rum held on Oc­to­ber 22, prior to yes­ter­day’s earth­quake. It has been decades since a sub­stan­tial quake struck the area, he said.

“We can­not guess the time or the mag­ni­tude of the earth­quake but there were two pow­er­ful earth­quakes in the area in 1839 and 1956,” he said.

The Sa­gaing fault is about 1000km long, lodged be­tween the Sa­gaing hills and the Min Won hills, U Myo Thant said.

“The Myan­mar En­gi­neer­ing So­ci­ety and the Min­istry of Con­struc­tion en­acted con­struc­tion codes in 2012 but most build­ings were built be­fore that,” he said. “A 6.5-mag­ni­tude earth­quake could cause much dam­age.”

He urged of­fi­cials to au­dit build­ings to make sure they are sturdy enough to han­dle an earth­quake. Sev­eral in­sti­tu­tions in Yan­gon, in­clud­ing the re­gional gov­ern­ment, are plan­ning to check hos­pi­tals, schools, uni­ver­si­ties and pub­lic build­ings. This could also be done in Man­dalay, he sug­gested.

– Ad­di­tional re­port­ing by Phyo Wai Kyaw, trans­la­tion by

Zar Zar Soe and San Layy

Photo: EPA

A man rides his bi­cy­cle near a crack in the road caused by an earth­quake in Man­dalay Re­gion on Novem­ber 12, 2012.

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