Myanmar quake's death toll rises

A powerful earthquake that struck Myanmar at the weekend has left 38 people dead or missing, the Red Cross said on Tuesday as a new tremor rattled the government's showpiece capital Nya Pyi Taw.

Hundreds of buildings were destroyed or damaged in Sunday's tremor, which sent terrified people running from their homes in the country's second-biggest city of Mandalay and surrounding villages.

At least 26 people were killed while 12 others are missing and about 230 were injured, Myanmar Red Cross Society deputy general secretary Aung Kyaw Htut told AFP.

``We have provided tarpaulin sheets to some of the victims and they are staying in temporary shelters,'' he said.

Previously the toll had stood at 13 dead, according to aid agencies.

A Buddhist monk walks beside the damage pagoda in TaBaitGine township in Myanmar struck by an earthquake on Sunday. (Photo by EPA)

The Red Cross said 251 houses were destroyed and 22 hospitals were damaged along with 137 religious buildings, 48 government offices and four schools.

A partially built bridge across the Irrawaddy River also collapsed, sending workers plunging into the water. Elsewhere several gold miners were buried.

An AFP team in the town of Thabeikkyin saw significant damage in the area near the epicentre of the quake.

Patients at the local hospital were being treated in tents outside amid fears buildings could be vulnerable to further tremors.

Authorities said on Monday they were providing help to victims but that communication problems made it difficult to assess the scale of the destruction.

A series of strong aftershocks has rattled the nation.

A 4.8-magnitude quake struck on Tuesday close to Nay Pyi Taw, according to the US Geological Survey, but there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.


Related search: earthquake, myanmar

About the author

columnist
Writer: AFP
Position: News agency