Mining region of Myanmar hit by 6.8 magnitude earthquake

11 November 2012 (Last Updated November 11th, 2012 18:30)

An underdeveloped mining region in northern Myanmar was rocked by a 6.8 magnitude earthquake on Sunday, leaving at least 12 people dead.

An underdeveloped mining region in northern Myanmar was rocked by a 6.8 magnitude earthquake on Sunday, leaving at least 12 people dead.

A slow release of official information left the actual extent of the damage unclear, but local reports say mines and a bridge over the Irrawaddy River in Kyaukmyaung collapsed during the quake.

The gold-mining town of Thabeikyin is close to the epicenter of the quake and reported three casualties, 35 injuries and damages to 102 homes, 21 religious buildings, 48 government offices and four schools.

A local administrative officer in Sintku Township told The Associated Press that six people had died in the area and another 11 were injured.

He said some of the dead were miners who were killed when a gold mine collapsed. There were other unconfirmed reports of miners still trapped under mines that had caved in.

More damage was reported in Mogok, a major gem-mining area east of the quake's epicenter. Temples were damaged there, as were some abandoned mines.

"Landslides occurred at some old ruby mines, but there were no casualties because these are old mines," Sein Win, a Mogok resident, told the news agency by phone.