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6.9 Earthquake Strikes Myanmar, Felt in India


Local women who rushed outdoors following tremors speak on their cellphones, in Kolkata, India, April 13, 2016. A strong earthquake struck Myanmar on Wednesday night and was felt in parts of eastern India and Bangladesh.

A strong earthquake hit northern Myanmar Wednesday night and was felt throughout the region in parts of neighboring China and India. There have been no immediate reports of casualties.

The magnitude 6.9 quake was centered in the jungle about 220 kilometers from Mandalay, Myanmar's second-largest city. The area of the country is sparsely populated and prone to earthquakes, and most houses are low-rise structures.

Residents of Myanmar's main city, Yangon, rushed to the streets in panic when they felt the earthquake. An Associated Press journalist was in a Yangon hospital at the time and reports that the six-story building shook strongly twice for at least a minute.

"I had experienced this kind of earthquake before, so I was not that scared," Aung Thu, who has been spending nights at the hospital to take care of his brother told AP. "But I was concerned because my brother is ill, and I need to take care of him."

‚ÄčIn India, tremors were felt in one of the biggest cities, Kolkata, as well as in the eastern state of Assam where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are currently visiting. "We felt the tremor very strongly, but all is fine," British Deputy High Commissioner Scott Furssedonn-Wood told AP.

Residents in Kolkata and in the northwestern Myanmar city of Monywa have reported cracks in buildings.

People have also reported feeling the quake in the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka (484 kilometers from the epicenter), and in Lhasa, Tibet, where many residents were said to have rushed into the streets in panic.

Though earthquakes are fairly common in Myanmar, the southeast Asian country has not felt a major one since a 6.8 magnitude quake hit the center of the country in November 2012, leaving nearly 40 people dead.