Workers set a security line around the earthquake-damaged Sitanagyi Pagoda in Bagan, Myanmar, on Thursday. According to the state newspaper, at least one-hundred-85 ancient Buddhist pagodas in the city collapsed in the six.eight magnitude quake, which struck central Myanmar on Wednesday.
The Fire Department and authorities scrambled to assess the full extent of the damage from the 6.8 magnitude quake that shook buildings across the Southeast Asian country on Wednesday. "Many people were scared and they ran out of the buildings", said Maung Maung Kyaw, a local official of the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) party in Chauk.
In nearby Bagan, home to a vast plain of some 2,500 Buddhist monuments that are among Myanmar's most venerated religious sites, teams of engineers and architects dispatched by government surveyed damage to almost 200 of the prized pagodas.
The Relief and Resettlement Department said at least 4 people were reported dead after the natural disaster, including 1 dead in Pakokku and 2 deaths in Yenangyaung, where two children aged 6 and 16 were killed.
This is second time in two days that tremors were felt in Myanmar.
In Sagaing Region's Salingyi township, nine pagodas and stupas suffered damage, the Ministry of Culture and Religious Affairs said.
Myanmar's President U Htin Kyaw (front) inspects the earthquake-hit pagodas at Bagan in Mandalay region, Myanmar, Aug. 25, 2016.
"There have also been reports of damage to smaller, more basic buildings..."
Myanmar President Htin Kyaw arrived in Bagan on Thursday to assess the damage and speak with local officials about how to fix it. "There were foreign tourists there as well", said Khin Maung Toe, a Myanmar man who was visiting Bagan for the first time when the quake struck.
"Services of the underground railway have been suspended fearing aftershocks of the quake", Kolkata Metro Railway spokesman Indrani Banerjee told AFP. The structures were reportedly mostly built between the 11 and 13 centuries and have been a major tourist attraction for the city.
In April, a magnitude 6.9 temblor caused serious damage to three pagodas in the central Sagaing Region, but no casualties.