Earthquake Jolts Rangoon Region, Injures 24

By Tin Htet Paing 14 March 2017

RANGOON—A 5.8-magnitude earthquake jolted Bago and Rangoon divisions on Monday evening, injuring 24 people and damaging some religious buildings in Taik Kyi Township.

No severe casualties have been reported.

Burma’s Department of Meteorology and Hydrology reported that the epicenter of the quake was about 8 km southwest of Taik Kyi. The US Geological Survey said the epicenter had a depth of 10 km. Residents in Rangoon felt tremors for nearly 30 seconds.

Another 4.7-magnitude quake happened around 10:19 p.m. the same evening as an aftershock, the department of meteorology and hydrology reported.

The Myanmar Earthquake Committee said quakes of about 5.0-magnitude happen once or twice every year due to a small fault near the Taik Kyi region. The fault lines that threaten the former capital Rangoon most are Sagaing and Daydaye faults, which could cause quakes above 6.0-magnitude every 80-100 years, according to the committee.

Burma’s central areas are prone to seismic activity mainly because of the Sagaing fault—a 1,200 km (750-mile) fault line that transects the country from north to south, passing through major cities before dipping into the Gulf of Martaban.

Aside from Bagan last year, historical records show that nowhere along the line has experienced a major tremor since 1930 when a 7.3-magnitude earthquake hit Pegu (Bago), a city 80 km (50 miles) from Rangoon, which claimed more than 500 lives.