YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — There are conflicting reports but as many as 12 people are feared dead after a strong earthquake struck northern Myanmar today.
The quake collapsed a bridge and a gold mine and damaged several old Buddhist pagodas.
An official from the Meteorological Department says the quake registered a 6.8 magnitude.
One local official says some of the dead were miners who were killed when the gold mine collapsed. He spoke on condition of anonymity.
Damage to centuries-old Buddhist temples is a common result of Myanmar earthquakes, but regarded by the superstitious as a bad omen. The so-called "umbrella" atop a stupa in one town reportedly crashed down in today's quake. These uppermost parts of the brick domes usually have encased in them relics of the Buddha and small Buddha images, and sometimes jewels. Police are reportedly guarding the relics.