BackStories » Asia » [Video] Powerful Earthquake Damages at Least 185 Ancient Bagan Pagodas

[Video] Powerful Earthquake Damages at Least 185 Ancient Bagan Pagodas

On Wednesday, a powerful earthquake struck near Myanmar’s ancient capital of Bagan, killing at least three people and damaging nearly 200 Buddhist pagodas in the area, reports Wall Street Journal.

The magnitude 6.8 tremor struck at 5pm yesterday, with an epicenter located 15 miles (25 kilometers) west of Chauk, a small town south of Bagan, and 52 miles (84 kilometers) below the Earth's surface, according to the news source. 

Although the quake didn’t cause many casualties - unlike the deadly episode in Italy on the same day - it was felt as far away as Thailand, Bangladesh and India, where residents streamed from buildings into the streets in fear. Meanwhile, at least 185 ancient brick pagodas in the old capital were badly damaged.

Vincent Panzani, a worker for the aid agency Save the Children, said several of his local colleagues described the earthquake as one of the strongest in recent memory.

“We felt quite heavy shaking for about 10 seconds and started to evacuate the building when there was another strong tremor,” he told Wall Street Journal via email. “Most of the reports of damage have been to the pagodas in the area, with dozens impacted.”

Malinda Perera, the manager of a hotel in Bagan, told Kyodo News that the quake was a shock to everyone, but most people handled it well.

"All of our guests rushed to the two assembly points outside the hotel calmly. They handled it nicely and weren't panicked at all," she told the news source. "The hotel building wasn't damaged. Only some water glasses and plates were broken. It's still safe to visit Bagan."

Bagan is Myanmar’s most popular archaeological site, home to more than 2,200 ancient structures, mostly pagodas and temples, built from the 10th to the 14th centuries.

[Photo via Wall Street Journal]

Partner Content