Thursday, July 2nd 2020, 1:52 pm - Local officials say the death toll is expected to rise, but the ongoing heavy rains have forced the postponement of rescue efforts Thursday.
A landslide sparked by torrential rains have killed at least 162 people in a jade mine in northern Myanmar's Kachin State, with many believed to be trapped still, according to CNN.
The rainstorm lashed through the region Thursday morning local time, setting off the landslide in Hpakant. According to the Myanmar Fire Department, 162 bodies have been recovered as of 7:15 p.m. local time, while 54 people have been taken to hospital with various injuries.
Local officials are warning of a rise in the death toll, but rescue efforts have been put on hold because of the ongoing heavy downpours.
"The jade miners were smothered by a wave of mud, which hit after heavy rainfall" said a statement from the Myanmar Fire Services Department on Facebook.
The United Nations in Myanmar released a statement saying it was "deeply saddened by the terrible loss of life due to a massive landslide at a mining site in Hpakant Township in Kachin State on the morning of 2nd of June 2020."
It applauded the "courageous efforts by the men and women involved in the difficult rescue and recovery efforts," offering sincere condolences to the families of the victims and wished the injured a speedy recovery.
In 2019, more than 50 workers were buried in a mudslide at a jade mine in Hpakant after a lake collapsed. In 2015, more than 100 people were killed following a hill of tailings from a jade mine, also in Hpakant, collapsed onto the huts of workers.
Thumbnail courtesy of Myanmar Fire Services Department/Shutterstock/Myanmar Fire Services Department.