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A landslide at a Myanmar jade mine has left dozens of people missing

At roughly 4 a.m., a landslide in Kachin State's Hpakant region happened (2130 GMT on Tuesday)

A landslide at a Myanmar jade mine has left dozens of people missing
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According to a civil society group and media sources, dozens of people are believed to be missing after a landslide at a jade mine in northern Myanmar early on Wednesday.

On Tuesday about 4 a.m., a landslide in Kachin State's Hpakant region happened.

According to a representative from the Kachin Network Development Foundation, about 80 people may have been carried into a lake by mining debris.

"Authorities arrived at the site around 7 am and are conducting the search," said Dashi Naw Lawn, an official at the civil society group.

Hpakant is the epicentre of Myanmar's enigmatic and perilous jade trade.

At least six individuals were killed in another landslide last weekend, according to media reports.

In the loosely controlled mines of Hpakant, which attract destitute labourers from around Myanmar in quest of gems, which are largely transported to China, landslides and other accidents are prevalent.

Even as warfare has risen since Myanmar's military seized power in a coup in February, economic strains owing to the Covid-19 outbreak have pushed more migrants to the jade mines.

When Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi's government came to power in 2016, it promised to clean up the business, but campaigners claim little has changed.

More than 170 people, many of them migrants, died in one of Hpakant's greatest disasters last July when mining debris tumbled into a lake.

Myanmar produces 90% of all jade in the world. The majority of it originates from Hpakant, where human rights organisations claim that mining companies with ties to military officials and ethnic armed groups gain billions of dollars each year.

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