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Associated Press
Myanmar officials stand near the bridge damaged by a strong earthquake near Mandalay.

12 believed dead after earthquake rattles Myanmar

– A strong earthquake of magnitude 6.8 struck northern Myanmar on Sunday, collapsing a bridge and a gold mine, damaging several old Buddhist pagodas and leaving as many as 12 people feared dead.

A slow release of official information left the actual extent of the damage unclear after Sunday morning’s strong quake.

Myanmar’s second-biggest city of Mandalay reported no casualties or major damage as the nearest major population center to the main quake Mandalay lies about 72 miles south of the quake’s epicenter near the town of Shwebo.

The area surrounding the epicenter is underdeveloped. The region is a center for mining of minerals and gemstones, and several mines were reported to have collapsed.

The evening news on state television showed Vice President Sai Maul Hkam visiting the town of Thabeikyin, where the report said damage included 102 homes, 21 religious buildings, 48 government offices and four schools. The town, a gold-mining center, is near the quake’s epicenter and had casualties of three dead and 35 injured.

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