Myanmar’s Religious Buildings Damaged by Earthquake

By The Irrawaddy 16 December 2022

Religious buildings were damaged by an earthquake in Mandalay and Sagaing regions in central Myanmar on Thursday.

The earthquake measured 5.2 on the Richter scale and the epicenter was east of Tada-U in Mandalay, according to the junta’s Department of Meteorology and Hydrology.

The Me Nu Oak-kyaung (brick monastery) was damaged, according to an official from the Department of Archaeology and National Museum. The monastery was built for Nanmadaw Me Nu, the chief queen consort of King Bagyidaw, in 1822.

“The Me Nu Oak-kyaung, Yadana Seme and Manaung Yadana pagodas were slightly damaged. We estimate around five percent of those buildings were damaged,” said the official.

Pagodas and temples damaged by the earthquake. / CJ

The department checked the Ava or Inwa heritage zone, the imperial capital of Burmese kingdoms from the 14th to 19th centuries, for damage.

“There is no substantial damage at Inwa. Only stucco reliefs were damaged in pagodas and other buildings. Some have cracked,” said a resident.

An earthquake in 2012 damaged many of Ava’s pagodas and temples.

Damage was reported at the Myatheindan Pagoda, which was built in 1816 by King Bagyidaw in Mingun.

One of the giant lion statues lost a leg, according to residents. The two giant statues were built in the 1790s as guardians of the Mingun Pahtodawgyi. The statues were badly damaged by an 1839 quake.

Religious buildings in Amarapura, Pyigyitagun and Chanayethazan townships in Mandalay Region were damaged.

No casualties have been reported.

Pagodas and temples damaged by the earthquake. / CJ

Bagan, the seat of the first Burmese empire, was hit by a powerful 6.8 magnitude earthquake on August 24, 2016, in which around 390 pagodas and temples were damaged. Bagan, the country’s major tourist attraction, dates from the ninth to the 13th centuries when around 50 kings ruled during the Pagan Dynasty.