Over 100 people are missing after the landslide hit region of Myanmar today, in which one death has been confirmed by the rescue team (consisting of 200 people).
The landslide occurred in the Hpakant region of the North Kachin state at around 4 pm. The search operation is going on to locate the missing ones.
It is believed that the majority of the victims of landslides are illegal miners. Overflow of rubble discarded from the lorries to the open pit jade mines is considered to be the reason behind the landslide.
One of the team members of the rescue team – Ko Nyi, asserted, “We’ve sent 25 injured people to the hospital while we have found one dead”.
Jade mining in Myanmar:
Myanmar administration has banned jade mining, but due to unemployment (which rose during the challenging times of the Covid-19 outbreak) and lack of opportunities, people indulge in illegal mining, hence risking their lives.
Although, Hpakant is the world’s biggest jade mine site.
This was not the first incident of jade mining in Myanmar; a few days back, a landslide occurred at the jade block in Myanmar, in which ten miners went missing.
While previous year on 2 July 2020, one of the deadliest landslides occurred at the Wai Khar jade mining site in the Hpakant area of Kachin State, which took the lives of around 200 miners. In a similar kind of incident, in the year 2015, around 116 people lost their lives.
Meanwhile, the activists claim that the government has failed in fulfilling its promises to make reforms in the jade mining industry.
Out of the world’s jade supply, Myanmar’s contribution lies between 70 to 90 percent, being the largest supplier.
While the country’s official statistics for the years 2016–2017 put the jade trade value at US$750 million, independent estimates that include illegal mining put it at US$15–31 billion worth per year.