A strong earthquake has struck northern Burma, causing a bridge and a gold mine to collapse, damaging several ancient Buddhist pagodas and leaving as many as 12 people feared dead.

No casualties or major damage were reported in the nearest major population centre, the country's second-biggest city of Mandalay, about 72 miles south of the quake's epicentre near the town of Shwebo.

Smaller towns closer to the epicentre of yesterday's quake were worse hit by the 6.8-magnitude quake, which struck at 7.42am local time yesterday.

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