At Least 70 Recorded Missing After Landslide in Myanmar

Over 70 people are still unaccounted for and 19 are wounded following a landslide of mountainous slag, which resulted in a good deal of death in north-eastern Myanmar’s Hpakant jade-excavation region, an indigenous occupant and town authority said on May 24, 2016.

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Hpakant jade-excavation region

Global News

Heavy downpours triggered the enormous mound of mining leftover to fall on Monday evening while foragers prowled the mining site for waste jade dregs.

The latest counting of those who were wounded soared to 19, from the 11 who were originally announced scathed shortly after the disaster, said Hmawe Gyi, an inhabitant of Hpakant in Kachin state and a fellow of the reigning National League for Democracy (NLD) party after going to see the accident site.

“Seventy-three people remain missing. Rescuers still have not resumed efforts to find survivors because continued rainfall could trigger additional landslides”, Hmawe Gyi told RFA’s Myanmar Service. “The rescue work has stopped Jade mine companies should use machinery and cooperate with authorities to search for the missing people.

“Now people don’t know if their family members are dead or not. They don’t know whether they should hold funerals. Some of them did hold funerals, although they didn’t know exactly whether their family members are dead or just missing.”

Landslide in Myanmar


One of the persons in authority who works in the town’s administrative office told RFA that superintendents have up till now not being given an update on the most recent state of affairs since conveyance in the region is arduous.
Yadanar Star, the company that operated the spot, halted its excavation works, encouraging prowlers to drift in to comb for jade, the state-backed Global New Light of Myanmar reported.

Dearth of Rule

Hpakant, which lies 651 km (404 mi) north of Myanmar’s capital, Naypyidaw, begets some of the top-notch jade in the world, a huge number of it shipped or sneaked in to China, where request for the priceless gem is towering.

Indigenes have initiated demonstrations against the excavation companies in recent months to get them to upgrade the welfare of mining areas as a result of recent series of fatal landslides triggered by falling waste mounds.

Rights groups regularly condemn the excavation companies for the unfavorable social and environmental bearings of their undertakings in the mostly unfettered industry.

Ohn Win, head of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, led an assessment visit of mines in Hpakant in early May after civil society organizations in Kachin state demanded that the new government set up a commission to examine jade mines that have dishonored industry regulations.

The area has also been disturbed by fighting between the Myanmar army and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), a fortified ethnic group.

On May 25, the national army imprisoned three men it has accused of being KIA machinists linked to a series of bombings aiming mining companies in Hpakant earlier this month, Democratic Voice of Burma reported, quoting the military spokesperson Myawady News.



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