At least four people were killed and more than 170 pagodas were damaged in the ancient city of Bagan in Myanmar after a magnitude-6.8 earthquake struck the area last week. Bagan is one of Myanmar’s top tourist attractions, drawing visitors who can view a panorama of temples stretching to the horizon flanked by the Irrawaddy River. The city has more than 2,200 structures constructed in the 10th to 14th centuries, including pagodas and temples. Many are in disrepair, while others have been restored in recent years, aided by the U.N. cultural agency UNESCO.
In other images from the Asia-Pacific region last week, South Korea and the United States began annual military exercises despite North Korea’s threat of nuclear strikes in response to the drills, which it calls an invasion rehearsal. Such fiery rhetoric by Pyongyang is not unusual. But the latest warning comes at a time of increased tensions following the defection of a senior North Korean diplomat and a U.S. plan to place a high-tech missile defense system in South Korea.
The mighty Ganges River overflowed its banks following heavy monsoon rains in India, causing large parts of the Hindu holy town of Varanasi to be submerged by floodwaters, keeping away thousands of devotees. Varanasi, located in northern India, is a pilgrim town that Hindus visit to take a dip in the holy Ganges. Devout Hindus believe that if they’re cremated on Varanasi’s ghats, or steps leading to the river, they earn immediate salvation and are freed from the cycle of birth and death.
This gallery was curated by Associated Press photo editor Hiroshi Otabe in Tokyo.