The 2016 Myanmar Earthquake


A story of rapid response preservation in Bagan, Myanmar

August 24, 2016
At around 5:00 PM on August, 24th a 6.8 magnitude earthquake damaged about 400 historical monuments in Bagan. Some of the damage was blamed on a variety of factors including low quality materials used to reconstruct parts of the site, lack of regular maintenance, and the new construction materials toppling and damaging the original structure. By contrast, monuments that did not feature newer construction only had minor damage.
Digital Documentation Workshop
Immediately following the earthquake CyArk and Carleton University sent a team to assist in the documentation of the damaged monuments and provide training in digital documentation methods. Working in collaboration with the Department of Archaeology of Myanamr and UNESCO, CyArk completed the documentation of nine monuments and consulted with site managers around data management and archiving.
The country responded to the earthquake by quickly sealing off the site and assessing the damage. The local population of Bagan rallied together to help clear rubble from the earthquake while supervisors worked to distinguish the modern construction from the ancient fragments. CyArk and Carleton aided UNESCO and local site authorities in documenting the damage done to the site. 

Workers use bamboo scaffolding to conduct stabilization efforts on many of the monuments.

Difference Analysis 
As CyArk had documented several of the monuments before the earthquake, a comparative analysis was completed to determine the extent and scope of damage. 

Photorealistic 3D Model of a Eim Ya Kyaung nga-myet hna Temple in Bagan, Myanmar

Digital Tools for Restoration
Sections were generated from the 3D models to plan restoration initiatives. 
Credits: Story

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Myanmar Department of Archaeology

Carleton University

Google Cultural Institute

National Geographic Society

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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