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May 31, 2020

Miner huts to move Hpakant landslide death toll rises to 113

Following Saturday’s deadly landslide at a jade mining site in Hpakant, Kachin State, local authorities have said they will relocate around 70 make-shift huts inhabited by miners, as they are near mountains of dump soil. The first landslide buried around 70 huts located in a ravine comprising two mountains of dump soil that were approximately 200 feet high.
Nine bodies were recovered yesterday, bringing the death toll to 113. Two women are among the dead and many labourers remain missing.
“Our guess is that there are at least two miners in every hut. We know that around 70 huts were buried by the landslide. We believe there are another 30 victims under the soil. We will continue our rescue efforts tomorrow,” an official from Hpakant Township General Administration Department told The Global New Light of Myanmar over the phone.
One victim was rushed to hospital on Sunday but died on arrival.
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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