By Kyaw Ye Lynn
YANGON, Myanmar (AA) – At least 13 people have been confirmed dead and around 100 are feared missing after locals digging for stones in jade mine waste were buried in a landslide in Myanmar’s restive Kachin State.
Dashi La Sung -- a regional lawmaker -- said that the landslide occurred Monday at about 8 p.m. (1300GMT) in Hpakant Township of Kachin state, around 950 kilometers (590 miles) north of Yangon.
“13 dead bodies were recovered, but we believe many are still missing,” he told Anadolu Agency by phone from Hpakant town in Kachin state.
He added that around 100 people were searching for small precious stones when the pile of debris collapsed.
“We expect more and more landslides as of heavy rain since two days ago,” he warned.
Earlier this month, around 14 people died in a similar landslide in the same region.
Deadly landslides are a common hazard in Kachin’s jade and gold mine industry, as people living off the waste pick their way across perilous mounds under the cover of darkness, driven by the hope they might find a chunk of jade worth thousands of dollars.
More than 100 people were killed in a massive landslide in November last year, just days after long-time opposition party the National League for Democracy won the election.