Myanmar Earthquake — Update

Damaging earthquake Myanmar – International Red Cross reports 26 fatalities and 231 people injured

Last update: November 13, 2012 at 10:24 am by By

Update 03:06 UTC :  Still waiting for more news from inside Myanmar. After such a massive earthquake, we reckon that the power and the telecommunications will be down in a radius of at least 50 km around the epicenter.
– Awaiting more news we have been checking the landscape in the epicenter area. More bad news here, the epicenter is rather close to a transform fault line. Transform earthquakes are among the most damaging earthquake types.
Additionally, the epicenter is close to an important river bed, which means that soft sediment can make a serious portion of the soil. Soft soil is very dangerous for earthquakes. Rock layers are decreasing the wave.  Acceleration maps would give us a clue how the soil in that area is composed.
– The image below shows a detailed view of the epicenter area and the towns. The bigger star is the M6.8 mainshock, the 3 smaller stars the M5 aftershocks.


Update 02:52 UTC :  The earthquake happened right on top of a known fault line. In developed countries houses will have been build using earthquake resistant methods. We do not think that this has been the case here.
Closest cities are :

Update 02:52 UTC :  USGS has just increased (after recalculation by seismologists) the Magnitude to M6.8 (from M6.6) at a depth of 9.7 km. An increase from 6.6 to 6.8 is a strong increase and is opposite at what we hoped.

Update 02:46 UTC :  The earthquake has been felt in all the neighbouring countries, which means Thailand, China and India
– We urge our Myanmar readers to let us know the whereabouts from people near the epicenter area if they get such information. You can use the form below to do this.
– Most of the Myanmar people reading our article are coming from Rangoon and Mandalay.
– The highest MMI value people have reported to USGS is MMI VII, very strong shaking . The number of testimonies is however too small to be reliable

Update 02:40 UTC : So far we have NO news from within our 50 km radius. Mandalay at 117 km from the epicenter is too far away to be in the danger zone.
– Testimonies we received out of Mandalay at are talking about a 1 to 2 minute shaking. This is very bad news as sustained shaking can be even more damaging. We truly hope that we are wrong, but the signs are not good at all.

Update 02:20 UTC : USGS has calculated what a M6.6 at 9.9 km would mean for the local people? Very strong and severe shaking can be damaging. In total 89000 people are living in this area.
– 1 good issue can be that the earthquake happened during the morning hours so that most people will not have been inside their houses.

Update 02:17 UTC : Our reporting will only continue on this page
–  USGS has modified his preliminary data from M7.0 to M6.6, but has also reduced the depth from 33.9 to 9.9 km. The overall danger remains as we initially have stated it.

Update 02:14 UTC : The greater epicenter area is currently rattled with very powerful aftershocks. these can go on for days and even weeks after such a massive earthquake.
– Seismologists all over the world are currently calculating the improved versions of the preliminary data. These can differ seriously from the initial ones.
– Residents from Mandalay, the second biggest commercial city in central Myanmar, told Reuters that they felt a very strong tremor. ”I’ve never felt such strong tremor. I also heard some loud noises and the light went out. No idea about the damage,” a resident said.

Update 01:58 UTC : Following USGS calculations, 23000 people may have experienced a severe MMI VII shaking. Such shaking can be very damaging, especially for houses which have been build without earthquake resistant methods.  The figure below is very alarming as the orange part is at great risk for damage.

Shaking map, courtesy USGS

Update 01:38 UTC : We do absolutely NOT like what we see. Also the nearby Chinese seismological instruments are reporting a Magnitude of M7.0 at a depth of 20 km ! Such an earthquake at this depth is very destructive !

Update 01:47 UTC : If the earthquake parameters are confirmed, we call more than 1 million people at risk for damage and eventual injuries. This number of people is living whitin a radius of 50 km from the epicenter?
We have to stress that all the current data is preliminary and maybe modified down- or upwards later on. Let’s hope the numbers will decrease.
We will soon start an in-depth article on this probably very damaging earthquake.

A very dangerous earthquake just occurred in Myanmar.  The preliminary Magnitude is M6.7 ! at a depth of 30 km.
If these parameters are confirmed, we have to call this earthquake extremely dangerous.
Based on the readers present in our site, this earthquake was also felt in Thailand.
Distances from the epicenter :

  1. 27km (17mi) E of Shwebo, Myanmar
  2. 62km (39mi) NNW of Mandalay, Myanmar
  3. 69km (43mi) SW of Mogok, Myanmar
  4. 72km (45mi) N of Sagaing, Myanmar
  5. 308km (191mi) N of Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar

Update 01:29 UTC : USGS is making this earthquake even more dangerous as it is reporting a Magnitude of M7.0 at a depth of 33.7 km
These data can indicate a VERY DAMAGING earthquake !

Most important Earthquake Data:
Magnitude : M7.0 (CENC)
UTC Time : 2012-11-11 01:12:38 UTC
Local time at epicenter : 2012-11-11 07:42:38 UTC+06:30 at epicenter
Depth (Hypocenter) : 20 km (CENC)
Geo-location(s) :

  1. 56km (35mi) NNE of Shwebo, Myanmar
  2. 60km (37mi) WNW of Mogok, Myanmar
  3. 117km (73mi) N of Mandalay, Myanmar
  4. 123km (76mi) NNW of Maymyo, Myanmar
  5. 364km (226mi) N of Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar


Update Nov. 13, 10:20 UTC :
The Myanmar earthquake in Pictures by news agency AFP (Please click on the image below to see the series of pictures)

Please click on this picture to watch the AFP images in full size

Update Nov. 13, 09:04 UTC :

– International Red Cross has reported that the earthquake in Myanmar has made 26 victims, a lot more than officially admitted. We still do not understand why governments are downplaying disasters. China and Russia stopped doing this, but some countries are still trying to fool their own population.

Excerpt from the Red Cross report of November 12 :

The Myanmar Red Cross Society, with the support of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), has determined that external assistance is not required at this stage, pending receipt of a full assessment report and analysis of the situation. It is, therefore, not seeking funding or other assistance from donors at this time.

An earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale struck central Myanmar on 11 November at 7.42 a.m. local time. Twenty-six people died and 231 were injured as a result. About 462 structures were damaged.
The Myanmar Red Cross Society (MRCS) has provided emergency relief supplies to 200 families in two locations, while emergency services such as first aid and referrals to health facilities are being provided to affected people in seven of the worst-hit townships. Volunteers are conducting situation assessments and working closely with local authorities.

Update Nov. 12, 19:43 UTC :

– Excerpt from an article as it appeared earlier today in the Burmese newspaper “The Irrawaddy” :
It was before 8 am when Nay Win Myint felt a sudden jolt in his Mandalay cottage. He put down his book to find that his home was shaking. “It was like an elephant ramming into my house,” said the famous Burmese writer who lives 169 km (105 miles) south from the epicenter of the magnitude 6.8 earthquake that struck Upper Burma on Sunday. Read more …

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Earthquake — India/Myanmar Border

Dangerous (shallow ?) earthquake near the India / Myanmar border (Manipur province)

Last update: July 14, 2012 at 10:03 pm by By

Earthquake overview : A dangerous extremely shallow strong earthquake occurred at 01:25 AM approx. 20 km from the Myanmar border in India. What looks like a moderate earthquake becomes dangerous because of the shallow depth of the hypocenter (6,5 km) reported by USGS.

Most important Earthquake Data:
Magnitude : M 5,6 (USGS), M5,5 (EMSC and GFZ) and M5,3 (CENC)
UTC Time : Saturday, July 14, 2012 at 19:55:12 UTC
Local time at epicenter : Sunday, July 15, 2012 at 01:25:12 AM at epicenter
Depth (Hypocenter) :
Geo-location(s) :
24 km (14 miles) S of Phek, India
43 km (26 miles) ESE of Kohima, India
57 km (35 miles) S of Zunheboto, India

Update : Phek, the village at 24 km from the epicenter has a population of 12863 (last census). One of the greatest dangers in the area will be the potential for landslides. Depending on the weather and the deforestation, which is common in India, landslides can easily occur. The city of Kohima has endured a MMI V , moderate shaking and counts 92000 people (we do not think however that major damage has occurred in this city). We have almost no data from the Myanmar side of the border, but we know that the area is very sparsely populated.

Update : Due to the darkness and the kind of terrain (very hilly forested area) it will take several hours before we expect to hear more news.

Update : 66000 people are living in the area which calls at risk, mainly because of the building methods in the area (a lot of brick and adobe houses) and because of the occurrence of the shaking in the middle of the night. A lot of the houses are also in wood and bamboo and can resist strong shaking.

Update : Based on the USGS data (M5,6 @ 6,5 km depth), 19000 people will have experienced a MMI VII very strong shaking. 91000 people a strong shaking.

Update : If the CENC and USGS data are right (even with the lower CENC Magnitude), we call an area of 20 km around the epicenter as highly vulnerable for damage and injuries.

Update : We did hesitate to start up an in-depth earthquake report because of the confusing data. A 6 km deep earthquake (USGS and CENC) and 40 to 45 km (GFZ and EMSC) can be related to “very dangerous” to “harmless)

This is what we wrote in our daily (major) earthquake overview : What looks like a moderate earthquake becomes dangerous because of the shallow depth of the hypocenter (6,5 km) reported by USGS. This depth is preliminary and has been contradicted by GFZ and EMSC who are stating an intermediate depth of 45 and 60 km. We have set the color of this earthquake to Orange because of this uncertainty. It would be green by 60 km and red by 6,5 km. The coming hours will tell us more about this! Indian seismologic agency has no live Internet data.
CENC, The Chinese seismological agency who is very reliable in this area reports a M5,3 at a depth of 6 km. If CENC data are correct, we will have to maintain the orange color of moderately dangerous.

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