YANGON, Aug. 26 (Xinhua) — Myanmar President U Htin Kyaw has pledged government assistance to renovate and preserve the ancient stupas and pagodas damaged by a powerful earthquake that struck the central part of Myanmar on Wednesday, official report said Friday.

Assessing the damage in the archaeological site in Bagan on Thursday, U Htin Kyaw called for protecting the heritage of ancient objects, stressing that the renovation work should maintain the original features with the help of foreign experts.

According to updated report, the quake destroyed 241 pagodas in the Bagan region.

Visitors have been denied access to the damaged Bagan archaeological site with security measures being imposed on the area.

Meanwhile, State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi urged the Ministry of Religious and Cultural Affairs not to make haphazard repair of the toppled spires of the pagodas but to to draw up a project plan with technical assistance from the World Heritage Center of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The Yangon office of UNESCO has reportedly deployed experts to assess the damage.

At least three people have been killed and six others injured in Wednesday's 6.8-magnitude powerful earthquake.

With an epicenter 197.9 kilometers southwest of Mandalay and 19. 3 kilometers west of Chauk, the quake jolted most parts of the country including Nay Pyi Taw and Yangon.