July 02, 2017

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Supplies arrive for relatives of Hpakant landslide victims

Tatmadawmen of local battalion and volunteers participate in clearing of debris and searching of bodies in landslide in Hpakant Township.  Photo: Myawady
Tatmadawmen of local battalion and volunteers participate in clearing of debris and searching of bodies in landslide in Hpakant Township.
Photo: Myawady

CASH and rice has reached relatives of the victims of the deadly landslide at a jade mining site in Hpakant, Kachin State, according to local authorities.
Nearly K54 million (US$ 41,600) was donated by local authorities, Myanmar Red Cross Society, Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement and Myanmar Gems Entrepreneurs Association.
One more body was recovered yesterday, bringing the death toll 115. Of them, 30 bodies are unidentified yet, according to an official from Hpakant Township General Administration Department.
It is estimated that there are around 4 to 5 bodies that still remain under the soil, he added. Estimates the day before were of 30 bodies. Around 70 makeshift huts were buried by the landslide.
U La John Ngan Sai, the Chief Minister of Kachin State, arrived on the scene to assist with rescue efforts. He urged miners staying in make-shift huts in risky areas to relocate immediately.
Following Saturday’s deadly landslide at a jade mining site in Hpakant, local authorities have said they will relocate around 70 make-shift huts inhabited by miners, as they are near dangerous mountains of dump soil.  The soil had been dumped in the area by a mining company last year. Its presence attracted a large number of migrant miners searching for lesser quality jade that had been discarded by large mining companies.
Local authorities have designated several areas, including the one where the tragedy happened, as high risk spots for landslides and have issued notices to miners not to set up makeshift huts there.

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