Thursday, November 8, 2007

Earthquake - Bangladesh (Cox's Bazar) NOV

COX's BAZAR, Bangladesh — A strong earthquake shook coastal areas in southern Bangladesh, and residents rushed out of their homes in panic, officials and witnesses said. A few buildings developed cracks, but no casualties were immediately reported.

The quake struck around 1:10 p.m. and measured 6.0 on the Richter scale, the Meteorological Office in the capital, Dhaka, said. Its epicenter was about 157 miles southeast of the capital.

Earlier, the U.S. Geological Survey gave the quake's magnitude as 5.2 and said it was centered about 170 miles southeast of Dhaka. An official at the Meteorological Office said the discrepancy could be due to the location where the measurements were taken.

"We are closer to the epicenter, and our instruments at two points registered 6.0," Farah Diba said. The measurements were taken at seismic observatories in Dhaka and Chittagong.

Shaheda Ahmed of Cox's Bazar, a resort town about 185 miles south of Dhaka, said she was on the phone when "the whole building suddenly shook." "The chandelier and crockery rattled. We rushed out into the streets from our apartments," Ahmed said.

The private Channel-I network reported that the quake was felt as far as the Chittagong Hill Tracts, about 30 miles northeast of Cox's Bazar.

Several residents reported cracks in neighborhood buildings, including at a court house in Bandarban and at a fire station in Rangamati, both hill districts bordering India and Myanmar.

Bangladesh lies near the earthquake zone of southeast Asia, and mild tremors are often felt across the populous nation. But casualties or property damage are rare. - Source

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