Death toll of Myanmar's earthquake rises to 74, 111 people injured

10:23, March 26, 2011      

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An earthquake damaged road and bridge are seen in Tarlay March 25, 2011. At least 74 people were killed in a strong earthquake that struck Myanmar, state media said on Friday, while a series of aftershocks have caused panic but only limited damage in Thailand and Laos. The death toll from Thursday's 6.8 magnitude tremor was expected to rise slightly in Myanmar after 225 homes and nine government buildings were destroyed. Over 100 people were injured, according to state television. The quake sparked panic, but no major damage, in other countries across Southeast Asia. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

The death toll of Myanmar's Thursday earthquake has increased to 74 with the injured remaining at 111 as of Friday 2:30 p.m. local time, according to an official statement.

A total of 390 residential houses, 14 monasteries and nine government department buildings were destroyed in the mainly affected areas of Tarlay, Naryaung and Monglin. Of them, Monglin was badly ruined in terms of residential houses with 128.

Relief measures are being taken by the state's Natural Disaster Preparedness Committee and local Red Cross as rescue teams are rushing to the stricken areas.

The quake also triggered landslides and collapsed buildings in Myanmar's northeastern Tachileik and Tarpin, Shan states.

A strong earthquake measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale jolted Loimwe, 56 kilometers southeast of Kengtung in northeastern Myanmar on Thursday night at 20:29:30 hours local time (1369 GMT).

The quake's epicenter, only 10 kilometers deep, struck the hills of Myanmar bordering Thailand and Laos.

The quake was also felt in Vietnam, Thailand, Laos and China.

According to reports from the Laos, the 7.0-magnitude earthquake in Myanmar shook Laos' northern province of Bokeo and Luang Namtha on Thursday night, but no casualties have yet been reported.

According to a statement on Friday from Laos' Department of Meteorology and Hydrology at Water Resources and Environment Administration, people living in Bokeo and Luang Namtha provinces in the north of the country felt the quake, but no damage or injuries have been report from the sparsely populated region.

Meanwhile, the Irrigation department of Thailand on Friday confirmed that the earthquakes in Myanmar had not caused damage to any major dams in the northern region of Thailand.

"The department ordered a structural inspection of the dams in the northern provinces of Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai and found that all dams were undamaged by the quake," Bangkok Post online quoted Chalit Damrongsak, the department's irector-general, as saying.

There are no cracks at all in the dams, he said.

Chalit said he had ordered irrigation officials nationwide to regularly make safety checks of dams under their supervision.

The powerful 7-magnitude earthquake on Thursday night sent shock waves that shook buildings in many parts of Thailand and rattled the nerves of highrise residents in Bangkok.

People living near the dams were worried their structural integrity might have been affected and sought reassurance, Thai media reported.

In Thailand, a 55-year-old woman was killed Thursday in the quake in northern Chiang Rai province.

Some 60 aftershocks have been recorded in northern Chiangmai province since the deadly earthquake, according to Thai Meteorological Department's Seismological Bureau.

An officer from Seismological Bureau disclosed that the quake in Myanmar was followed by 56 aftershocks below 5.0 magnitude as well as six aftershocks over 5.0 magnitude.

The aftershocks are expected to continue for a week with different magnitudes ranging from 3.0 to 5.0, but no greater than 6.0 magnitude quake is expected, the seismological bureau said.

According to Vietnam News Agency, buildings in Hanoi shook when the earthquake happened, which caused panic among residents of apartment blocks.

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