A 6.9 magnitude earthquake struck the Asian nation of Myanmar at about 8:25 p.m. Wednesday night (9:55 a.m. EDT), according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
The tremor occurred at a depth of 83.7 miles, the USGS also reported. The epicenter was located 46 miles southeast of Mawlaik and 246 miles north of the capital, Naypyidaw, the USGS added.
In Myanmar’s main city of Yangon, a town of nearly 6 million, panicked residents fled from buildings when the shaking began, according to the Associated Press. For at least a minute, a seven-story hospital building in the city shook strongly twice, according to AP journalist Aung Thu, who was inside at the time of the quake. Many people ran out of the building and called family members after the shaking ceased, the report added.
Thu said he was on the third floor of the Shwegonedine Specialist Center, and when the shaking began, he told the AP he immediately called his wife and son, telling them to be “prepared for the worst.”All known injuries so far were believed to have been sustained during the panicked moments following the quake, the Times of India said. The USGS estimates a 63 percent chance of a death toll between 1 and 100. According to the Indian Express, 1 million people live less than 50 miles from the epicenter. There were some reports of damage, but no confirmations of any destroyed structures.
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