There were no reports from Hpakant, the region that is home to the largest and most lucrative jade-mining industry in the world. There has been occasional fighting between ethnic guerrilla and Myanmar army forces in this region.
Nyo Chaw from Gayunar Rescue Team, who coordinated the effort, stated that more than 70 miners digging for jade were swept into the lake just a few hours before dawn when a landslide struck. He said that earth and debris from several Lonekhin mines slid down a cliff 60m (about 200 feet), and struck the miners.
In Wednesday's landslide, at least five young women and three small businesses were also buried. Nyo Chaw stated that the body of a jade worker had been found in heavy mud at midday.
Nyo Chaw, Associated Press: "About 150 firefighters and rescue workers are searching the area. We have found the body a jade miner thus far and continue to find others," Nyochaw said.
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Hpakant, located in Kachin state's mountainous, remote Kachin state about 950 km (600 miles) north Yangon, Myanmar's largest city, is the name of a mountainous, isolated area. Since Aung San Suu Kyi's February 1 coup, a ceasefire has been broken in the region.
Although the military said that it had shut down jade mining at Hpakant, some companies were operating illegally. Kachin state's Kachin Independence Army bases its main revenue source on the mines, which are also a major source of income for their ethnic armed group, Kachin Independence Army.
An official from Hpakant's civil society group, who requested anonymity out of concern for his safety, said that between 20 and 50 mining companies were operating illegal mines.
Safety has been a concern for many years. The suspension of licensing has prevented a rush to artisanal mine under worse conditions.
At least 162 people were killed in the landslide that occurred in the same area on July 3, 2020. In contrast, 113 people were killed in an accident in November 2015. The victims were killed when a 60-meter-high (200-foot-high) mountain of earth and debris discarded by several miners collapsed during the night. It covered more than 70 huts that miners were sleeping.
Freelance miners are most likely to be killed in these accidents. They live near large mounds of earth, which has been excavated with heavy machinery. Freelancers who are looking for jade often live in abandoned mine pits near the base of these mounds of earth. These pits become especially unstable during rainy seasons.
The majority of scavengers are unregistered migrants who have moved from other regions. This makes it difficult to know how many people are missing and often leaves their families unaware of their fate.