Powerful earthquake strikes Myanmar, killing at least 4

A powerful earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.8 has struck near Chauk in central Myanmar (Burma), killing at least 4 people and injuring dozens more. Tremors were felt as far away as Bangladesh, India, Thailand, Laos, and China.

The earthquake, which struck at 5:04 p.m. local time on Wednesday, was centered about 25 kilometers (15 miles) west of the town of Chauk in central Myanmar, or 58 kilometers (36 miles) northwest of the city of Yenangyaung.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) put the preliminary magnitude of the earthquake at 6.8 and said it struck at a depth of about 84.1 kilometers (52 miles).

Dozens of stupas, pagodas, temples and other buildings were damaged and in some cases collapsed, according to witnesses and Myanmar's Relief and Resettlement Department. Damage was reported in the ancient city of Began and the town of Salin, among other areas.

The Relief and Resettlement Department said at least 4 people were reported dead after the earthquake, including 1 dead in Pakokku and 2 deaths in Yenangyaung, where two children aged 6 and 16 were killed. Other details about casualties were not yet available.

The earthquake was felt widely across the region, with shaking reported as far away as Bangladesh, eastern India, Thailand, Laos, and China. There were no reports of damage outside of Myanmar, but about 20 people were injured in Savar in Bangladesh when workers fled from a building.

Computer models from the USGS estimated that some 41.8 million people across the region may have felt Wednesday's earthquake, including roughly 1.5 million people who may have experienced strong shaking. The computer models suggest casualties and damage are possible.

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