Thursday, March 24, 2011

Myanmar 'Burma' 7.0 Magnitude EarthQuake Hits Near Thailand,Full Video

Distances 89 km (55 miles) N of Chiang Rai, Thailand
168 km (104 miles) SSW of Yunjinghong, Yunnan, China
589 km (365 miles) NE of Rangoon, Myanmar
772 km (479 miles) N of BANGKOK, Thailand

A large 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck Myanmar near the border with northern Thailand on Thursday, killing one woman, police and witnesses said.

Witnesses said the tremors were felt in Bangkok, central Myanmar and as far away as the Vietnam capital of Hanoi where people were evacuated from tall buildings.Police said a 53-year-old woman in Mae Sai, Chiang Rai province, had been killed when one wall of her house collapsed.

Hospital officials said there were no other deaths or injuries reported.The quake was centered 111 km (69 miles) north of the town of Chiang Rai, Thailand's northernmost province."

In my 40 years, I never felt an earthquake this strong. A glass broke and I had to hold on to a pillar," Thanawan Sisukniyom, a retired teacher in Mai Sai, told Reuters by telephone.Witnesses in Chiang Mai, the country's second-largest city, reported no immediate damage, but said the earthquake was felt strongly.

Residents left their homes in the Myanmar capital Naypyitaw and the biggest city, Yangon. No deaths or injuries were reported.

The 6.8-magnitude quake was just six miles (10 kilometers) deep, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. At that strength and depth, it said 600,000 people could feel shaking anywhere from strong to violent. It added that since buildings in the area are considered vulnerable, damage could be widespread.

"It was like somebody was running on the roof. Everybody was in a panic. They came out of their houses and wondered what happened," said Maj. Gen. Mongkol Sampawapon, a police chief from another district near Chiang Rai.

In another northern Thai city, people ran into the streets in their pajamas, according to footage on Thai TBS television.There were no immediate reports of damage from the Myanmar side, a remote area where communications, even in the best of times, are difficult. The country's military-controlled government also tightly controls information.

"It was bloody scary, I can tell you," he said. Jones said he could see people running in the streets.

The quake was followed by two smaller aftershocks, 4.8 and 5.4 in magnitude.The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said the quake was located too far inland to create a destructive wave.

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