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74 killed in Myanmar quake

world Updated: Mar 26, 2011 00:17 IST
Reuters
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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. An aftershock of an estimated magnitude of 5.5 rattled Thailand on Friday but caused limited damage, although residents living in properties close to the epicentre were advised to leave their homes. The initial quake shook the famous "Golden Triangle" region, where Myanmar, Thailand and Laos meet. It was felt in the capital cities of Thailand and Myanmar and as far away as Vietnam.

The town of Tachilek in Myanmar was badly hit by Thursday's quake. People fled their homes and cracks were seen in the roads. The Red Cross said a hospital in Tachilek had been damaged and trained local volunteers had been mobilised to provide relief and first aid.

Witnesses crossing the border into Thailand said a large tent had been set up on a soccer field for hundreds of people whose homes were destroyed.

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