Strong and shallow M5.9 earthquake hits Myanmar


A strong and shallow earthquake registered by the USGS as M5.9 hit Myanmar at 11:45 UTC (18:15 local time) on April 16, 2020. The agency is reporting a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles). EMSC is reporting M5.9 at a depth of 30 km (18 miles).

The epicenter was located 38.5 km (23.8 miles) ESE of Falam (population 5 404), 45.2 km (28 miles) ENE of Hakha (population 20 000), 102.9 km (63.8 miles) SSW of Mawlaik (population 44 540), Myanmar, and 112 km (69.4 miles) ENE of Saiha (population 22 654), India.

There are 1 220 000 people living within 100 km (62 miles).

3 000 people are estimated to have felt very strong shaking, 117 000 strong and 300 000 moderate.

GDACS said the quake can have a medium humanitarian impact based on the magnitude and the affected population and their vulnerability.

Image credit: Google, TW/SAM

The USGS issued a yellow alert for shaking-related fatalities. Some casualties are possible and the impact should be relatively localized. Past events with this alert level have required a local or regional level response.

A green alert was issued for economic losses. There is a low likelihood of damage.

Overall, the population in this region resides in structures that are vulnerable to earthquake shaking, though resistant structures exist. The predominant vulnerable building types are adobe block with wood and rubble/field stone masonry construction.

Recent earthquakes in this area have caused secondary hazards such as landslides that might have contributed to losses.

Estimated population exposure to earthquake shaking

Selected cities exposed

Regional seismicity

Featured image credit: Google, TW/SAM


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