Tag Archives: Myanmar

Jade Mine: 113 die in Myanmar landslide


The miners were ‘smothered by a wave of mud’ caused by heavy rain, officials say.

A landslide at a jade mine in northern Myanmar has killed at least 113 people, officials say, warning the death toll was likely to rise further.

The incident took place early on Thursday in the jade-rich Hpakant area of Kachin state after a bout of heavy rainfall, the Myanmar Fire Services Department said on Facebook.

“The jade miners were smothered by a wave of mud,” the statement said. “A total of 113 bodies have been found so far.”

Photos posted on the Facebook page showed a search and rescue team wading through a valley apparently flooded by the mudslide.


‘No one could help them’
Maung Khaing, a 38-year-old miner from the area, said he saw a towering pile of waste that looked on the verge of collapse and was about to take a picture when people began shouting “run, run!”

“Within a minute, all the people at the bottom [of the hill] just disappeared,” he told Reuters news agency by phone.

“I feel empty in my heart. I still have goosebumps … There were people stuck in the mud shouting for help, but no one could help them.”


Tar Lin Maung, a local official with the information ministry, said authorities had recovered more than 100 bodies.

“Other bodies are in the mud. The numbers are going to rise,” he told Reuters.

Photos showed a search and rescue team wading through a valley apparently flooded by the mudslide [Fire Services Department Handout/Reuters]

Fatal landslides are common in the poorly regulated mines of Hpakant, the victims often from impoverished communities who risk their lives hunting the translucent green gemstone.

The government of Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi pledged to clean up the industry when it took power in 2016, but activists say little has changed.


Official sales of jade in Myanmar were worth $750.4m in 2016-2017, according to data published by the government as part of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.

But experts believe the true value of the industry, which mainly exports to China, is much larger.

The incident took place in the jade-rich Hpakant area of Kachin state [Handout/Myanmar Fire Services Department]

Northern Myanmar’s abundant natural resources – including jade, timber, gold and amber – have also helped finance both sides of a decades-long conflict between ethnic Kachin and the military.

The fight to control the mines and the revenues they bring frequently traps local civilians in the middle.



Coronavirus: Myanmar govt fly citizens home from china ..

The government of Myanmar has flown home dozens of citizen-students from the coronavirus-stricken Chinese city of Wuhan early Sunday, government officials said.

The group of 59 will be quarantined for 14 days in a hospital in Myanmar’s second-largest city, Mandalay, Than Than Myint, a spokeswoman for the health ministry, told Reuters.

Four others stayed in Wuhan, she said.

“Two… had a high fever, so the Chinese government kept them in Wuhan,” she said by phone.

A statement by the ministry of foreign affairs said that of the other two, one student who was due to fly home had already left Wuhan by other means and the other had “defied China’s immigration regulations” and could not leave.

The students had been holed up with dwindling food supplies in the city of 60 million, which is in virtual lockdown.

“Honestly, I have one big potato and three packs of instant noodles and some rice,” Si Thu Tun, one of 60 students from Myanmar trapped in Wuhan, told the online news outlet the Democratic Voice of Burma last week.

Myanmar has no confirmed cases of the coronavirus, which first emerged in China’s central province of Hubei and has infected more than 14,000 people since, mostly in and around Hubei.

Authorities in Myanmar turned back a China Southern flight from Guangzhou on Friday after one passenger was found with flu symptoms similar to those of the fast-spreading coronavirus.

Myanmar cannot test for the virus in-country and is sending samples from suspected patients to neighboring Thailand, which takes about a week for results.