Magnitude-6.6 earthquake strikes northern Myanmar

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YANGON, Myanmar – A strong earthquake struck northern Myanmar Sunday, causing residents to flee their homes, but no injuries or major damage were immediately reported.


The magnitude-6.6 temblor hit the area at 7:42 a.m., according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The quake had a depth of just 6 miles and hit 72 miles north of Mandalay, Myanmar’s second-largest city.


Four residents of Mandalay, contacted by phone, said the quake was strong enough to send people dashing out of their homes for safety, as water splashed out of jars. They said they saw no major structural damage in their immediate neighborhoods, but added that it did cause cracks in some walls.


The epicenter of the quake is a region frequently hit by small temblors that usually cause little damage.


The quake was felt in Bangkok, the capital of neighboring Thailand. It comes just a week ahead of a scheduled visit to Myanmar by President Barack Obama. He will be the first U.S. president to visit the one-time pariah nation, which is emerging from decades of military rule.


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