Quake hits Yangon, flood warnings issued for Bago, Kayin

Quake hits Yangon, flood warnings issued for Bago, Kayin
People ride bicycles near flags of various countries in Naypyitaw August 6, 2014.

MYANMAR - The earthquake that shook Yangon yesterday afternoon caused no damage and will not be followed by aftershocks, officials with the Meteorology and Hydrology Department said.

The quake had a magnitude of 4.0 on the Richter scale, with its epicentre in Yangon, about 1.3 kilometres northeast of the Kaba Aya Seismological Observatory, officials said.

It hit the city at 3.41pm, a report from the department said.

"I was sitting in my office when the desks around me started shaking. There was a rattling noise, but it didn't last long," an office worker in Tamwe Township said.

A resident of Mayangon Township said she was almost ready to flee her house.

"I was at home when it hit. Chairs started trembling. I could feel the shaking. I was going to run, but it only lasted a minute," she said.

The quake was also felt in North Dagon Township. Staff at an Internet shop there said computer screens started shaking.

"I was also shocked by the loud rattling sound," an employee of the shop said.

Residents of upper floors of apartment blocks expressed the most alarm.

"The trembling was one thing, but I was also alarmed because I live on the seventh floor," a Mayangon Township resident said.

"I was thinking 'how do I get downstairs quickly', but was also worried about my parents because they are very old."

The quake was probably caused by shifts along small fault lines near Inya Lake, said Kyaw Moe Oo, deputy director general of the Meteorology and Hydrology Department.

He said quakes with a magnitude of three or lower were common and that although yesterday's was considered light it was stronger than previous ones.

He said quakes cannot be forecast but added that no aftershocks are expected to follow the one that hit yesterday.

The department also issued flood warnings in Kayin State and Bago Region yesterday, due to swelling rivers.

The Thanliwin River had risen to the danger level at Kayin's capital, Hpaan, at 8.30am yesterday.

It rose another 10 centimetres by noon and is expected to remain at the danger level for the next 48 hours.

It also said monsoons would be "strong to vigorous" in both the Andaman Sea and Bay of Bengal, while Yangon city would see rain and thundershowers today.

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