Burma Quake Kills at Least 120

Country is ill prepared to deal with disasters, BBC notes
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 25, 2011 7:36 AM CDT
In this photo released by Democratic Voice of Burma, a resident looks into a crack in a road caused by an earthquake in Tarlay, Shan state, Myanmar, Friday, March 25, 2011.   (AP Photo/DVB, Alinyaung)
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(Newser) – Yesterday's 6.8 earthquake in Burma killed at least 120 people, according to Red Cross officials, and that number is expected to rise. The official government death toll is 74, with 111 injured, Time notes. Initial reports stated the country was hit with two earthquakes moments apart, but USGS has since clarified there was only one quake, the BBC reports. State media adds that 390 buildings were damaged or destroyed.

Nine government buildings and 14 Buddhist monasteries suffered damage, rice fields were destroyed by rising silt and water, roads have cracked, and bridges were damaged. Because the country's infrastructure and communication systems are poor and information flow is restricted by the military government, Burma is not well prepared to deal with such disasters, the BBC notes.

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