Myanmar earthquake damage from last week’s 6.8 magnitude shake includes 397 ancient temples, according to authorities on Monday. Deputy Director General of the Department of Archaeology Thein Lwin has said the the restoration process for these sacred sites will take a full year.
After Myanmar earthquake, cultural ministry has placed a temporary ban on climbing Bagan’s famous pagodas, a popular site for tourists to watch sunrises and sunsets. This temporary halt and the earthquake’s damage could greatly affect tourism in the area. Tourists have flocked to this region of Myanmar for years to visit these treasured 10-14th century temples, and they serve as a major portion of the country’s tourism sector.
This is not the first time that Bagan has been the victim of extreme seismic activity. In 1978 an estimated half of the area’s nearly 3,000 temples were damaged, and have only recently been fully restored with the aid of UNESCO.
A spokesperson for the UN has stated that UNESCO is currently in contact with the government of Myanmar and ready and willing to help out once again.