A landslide in Hpakant kills four scavengers

Tun Lin Aung (Myitkyina)
Authorities carried out search and rescue operation in Hpakant


A Landslide at an old jade mine in Hpakant, Kachin State killed four scavengers on September 25, sources said.

All of the deceased are Kachin ethnics. Two bodies were sent to Myitkyina with the help of Theingaha civic society services. The remaining two bodies will be cremated at Lonkhin cemetery.

Thein Zaw, Hmawsiswar village administrator said, “The landslide occurred at an old jade mine between Tharyargone and Thatkaegone. Four scavengers were killed. One died just yesterday. An employer is included amongst them. No one else was injured last night. The landslides frequently happen in rainy season. The scavengers dug too deep inside the mine and the earth from above layer collapsed on them. They were greedy and didn’t notice the danger.”

Around 140 people were killed in Hpakant in this year, according to civic society services. Big landslides and soil waves had killed many people in groups.

A total of 27 people had died and 27 were injured in a landslide that also occurred at an old jade mine in Hpakant on July 24 and only 23 bodies were recovered.

Another landslide occurred on July 14 and killed 24 people as well as injured 63 in Hpakant. Four are still missing.

One landslide occurred in Hpakant on June 22 killed 14 people and four people are also missing. About 160 homes were destroyed in the landslide.

About 300,000 migrant workers across the country moved to Hpakant in hopes of striking it rich by scavenging illegally in old jade mines, earth piles and still operational jade mines.

Landslides occurred monthly especially in early rainy season due to the impacts of explosives and rain.