12 Nov 2012

Death toll climbs after Myanmar quake

7:12 am on 12 November 2012

The death toll from a powerful earthquake in central Myanmar has reached 13, with another 40 people injured.

The shallow 6.8-magnitude quake struck on Sunday in a rural area 116km north of the city of Mandalay and was followed by strong aftershocks, AFP reports.

Aid group Save the Children says four of those killed were labourers flung into the Irrawaddy River from a partly-built bridge near the town of Shwebo, north of Mandalay.

The collapse of a monastery in the nearby village of Kyauk Myaung killed two people and one died in Mandalay, it said.

A further six were killed in Sint Ku township, including two people who died when a gold mine collapsed.

Residents of Mandalay fled shaking buildings in terror, although no major damage was reported there.

However, a large crack stretching from the second to the sixth floor of Mandalay's highest building, the 25-storey Mann Myanmar Plaza, appeared after the quake, a local resident said. People were afraid to enter the structure and it remained closed.

The quake was felt in neighbouring Thailand including in Bangkok

US President Barack Obama is due to visit Myanmar in his first visit in just over a week.