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Moderate earthquake rattles northwest Myanmar

A moderate 5.6-magnitude earthquake shook parts of northwestern Myanmar early on Tuesday causing no casualties but damaging Buddhist temples believed to date to the 11th century, officials and residents said.

world Updated: Sep 22, 2009 12:34 IST

A moderate 5.6-magnitude earthquake shook parts of northwestern Myanmar early on Tuesday causing no casualties but damaging Buddhist temples believed to date to the 11th century, officials and residents said.

The moderate earthquake occurred just after 2 am with the epicenter about 260 miles (418 kilometers) northwest of the commercial capital, Yangon, said Thein Htay, an official from the national Meteorological Department.

The quake was felt in several towns in the northwestern Magway Division, none of which are densely populated or have high-rise buildings, he said. There were no known casualties. Residents reported damage to two ancient Buddhist temples in Ohn Pwetaw village and a pagoda in Yay Nan Chaung, saying the structures were believed to have been built in the 11th century and were known for their colorful frescoes.

The extent of the damage was not immediately known. The residents requested anonymity because of fears of speaking to reporters in the military-ruled country.

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