Asia

Two Strong Earthquakes Strike Burma

RANGOON, Burma -- A powerful earthquake struck northeastern Burma 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 Burma, Thailand and Laos meet, about 70 miles 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 from the border, died when a brick wall collapsed on her, according to police Capt. Weerapon Samranjai.

"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.

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.

The 6.8-magnitude quake was just six miles 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, moderate to very heavy damage could be expected.

Buildings swayed in Bangkok, about 480 miles 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 Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said the quake was located too far inland to create a destructive wave.

A 9.0 magnitude earthquake struck Japan on March 11, causing a massive tsunami and widespread devastation. More than 9,800 people have died, according to Japan's National Police Agency. Another 17,500 are missing.