An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.9 has struck north-western Myanmar, the US Geological Survey (USGS) says, sending strong tremors through Myanmar, eastern India, Bangladesh and parts of Nepal.
There were no immediate reports of major damage or loss of life as a result of the tremor, located around 100 kilometres north-north-west of the city of Monywa at an estimated depth of 134 kilometres.
Injuries and minor building damage have been reported in neighbouring areas and countries like India and Bangladesh.
Around 50 people suffered mainly leg injuries in the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka and north-eastern city of Sylhet as they fled homes and other buildings during the quake, according to police.
But an MP from the Sagaing region in Myanmar, around 100 kilometres away from the epicentre, said it may be too early to tell the full extent of the damage.
“There may be some destruction and damage … but it’s difficult to know the [extent] of destruction at night time,” Cho Cho Win said, adding that the town does not have many high rise buildings.
Much of Myanmar’s outlying provinces have poor communications infrastructure, including the region where the earthquake hit.
Witnesses in Bagan, central Myanmar, said some tourists left their hotel rooms and stood outside when they felt the tremor — but they saw no sign of damage to buildings.
“We haven’t heard any reports of casualties or damage,” said an official from Myanmar’s meteorological department based in the capital Naypyitaw.
“So far as I know the epicentre wasn’t in a densely populated area.”
Britain’s Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who were visiting the north-eastern Indian state of Assam on Wednesday, were safe, the British High Commission in New Delhi said.
In March, 2011, at least 74 people were killed in an earthquake in Myanmar near its borders with Thailand and Laos.