Letter | Published:

Earthquake in Burma

Nature volume 100, pages 265266 (06 December 1917) | Download Citation



AN earthquake of some intensity was felt in parts of Lower Burma in the early morning of July 5 last, when the moon was in total eclipse. The only damage reported was at a famous pagoda at Pegu, a town fortysix miles distant by rail from Rangoon, an ancient structure held in great veneration by all Buddhists, and towering 324 ft. over all surrounding buildings. Its golden cone, or umbrella, studded with jewels to the value of many thousand pounds sterling, was shaken down, destroying several smaller pagodas at its base. Fortunately, there seems to have been no loss of life, for the fall happened about 4.40 a.m., when most people were in bed. On festival or fast days there are often thousands of visitors in the precincts of the pagoda, for worshippers come from hundreds of miles distant to this famous shrine, and though the population of the town is less than 20,000, there are often 150,000 there on such occasions. The pagoda trustees and Buddhist elders at once took steps and formed a committee to supervise the removal of the débris and to recover the valuable jewels which had fallen, and in this the civil and police officials rendered every assistance. The Lieutenant-Governor, directly he heard of the disaster, telegraphed to the Deputy-Commissioner:—“His Honour is much distressed to hear of the damage done by the earthquake to your beautiful Shwemawdaw Pagoda, and would be glad if you would kindly convey his sympathy to the pagoda trustees.” The trustees wired the following reply:—“We thank his Honour most sincerely for his telegram expressing sympathy at damage done to our beautiful pagoda. Some valuables discovered among the débris.”

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Author information


  1. 42 Pyinmagon, Dalla P.O., Lower Burma.

    • F. N. BURN


  1. Search for F. N. BURN in:

About this article

Publication history





By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.