Northern Burma was jolted with by a strong earthquake on November 11, 2012, which collapsed a bridge and also damaged ancient Buddhist pagodas. As many as 12 people are feared to be dead as the underdeveloped mining region said that some mines have also collapsed.
The vice president of Burma, Sai Mauk Hkam visited the damaged sites on November 12, 2012, even as authorities resumed their search for four missing workers near the collapsed bridge over the Irrawaddy river in Kyaukmyaung.
The actual extent of damage was left unclear as officials were not quick in releasing appropriate information. The quake hit in the morning with a magnitude of 6.8 on the Richter scale. The country has a poor official disaster response system and had lost more than 140,000 people to a devastating cyclone in the year 2008.
Ashok Nigam, a UN development program representative said, “We have been told by the director of the Relief and Resettlement Department that there were seven dead and 45 injured as of late Sunday evening. The figure could fluctuate”. Nigam added that the agencies had offered aid, but no formal request has been made yet.
Mandalay, which is the second biggest city in the country was the nearest to main quake, but no casualties or damages have been reported.