6.8-magnitude earthquake strikes Thai-Myanmar border; 1 dead, no tsunami generated

Two strong earthquakes struck northeastern Myanmar less than a minute apart Thursday night. They could be felt as far away as Bangkok, but a tsunami was not generated.

YANGON, Myanmar — A powerful earthquake struck northeastern Myanmar on Thursday night, killing one woman and shaking buildings as far away as Bangkok. No tsunami was generated.

The quake hit in an area where Myanmar, Thailand and Laos meet, about 70 miles (110 kilometres) from Chiang Rai. The northern Thai city sustained minor damage, according to Thai television.

A woman in an area north of Chiang Rai, just two miles (four kilometres) from the border, died when a brick wall collapsed on her, according to police Capt. Weerapon Samranjai.

The 6.8-magnitude quake was just six miles (10 kilometres) deep, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. At that strength and depth, it said 600,000 people could feel shaking anywhere from strong to violent. It added that since buildings in the area are considered vulnerable, damage could be widespread.

“It was like somebody was running on the roof. Everybody was in a panic. They came out of their houses and wondered what happened,” said Maj. Gen. Mongkol Sampawapon, a police chief from another district near Chiang Rai.

In another northern Thai city, people ran into the streets in their pyjamas, according to footage on Thai TBS television.

There were no immediate reports of damage from the Myanmar side, a remote area where communications, even in the best of times, are difficult. The country’s military-controlled government also tightly controls information.

Buildings swayed in Bangkok, about 480 miles (770 kilometres) south of the epicenter.

Max Jones, an Australian resident of the Thai capital, was in his 27th-floor apartment when his building started shaking so hard he had to grab the walls to keep from falling.

“It was bloody scary, I can tell you,” he said. Jones said he could see people running in the streets.

The quake was followed by two smaller aftershocks, 4.8 and 5.4 in magnitude.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said the quake was located too far inland to create a destructive wave.

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