December 22, 2021, 05.54 PM
A filed photo of a jade mine in Hpakant at Kachin state, Myanmar.  GETTY IMAGES/AFP/Y A THUA filed photo of a jade mine in Hpakant at Kachin state, Myanmar.

KOMPAS.com - Dozens of people are missing after a landslide at a jade mine in northern Myanmar Wednesday, Dec. 22.

The disaster occurred before dawn in the Hpakant area of Kachin state, the heart of the country’s jade industry. Anywhere between 70-80 people may have been swept into a nearby lake.

The French news agency Agence France-Presse says a member of the rescue team has confirmed that one person has been found dead and 25 people have been injured and hospitalized.

Landslides are a common occurrence for Myanmar’s lucrative but poorly-regulated jade mining industry, which employs migrants and workers from across Myanmar to dig for gems that are sold across the border in China. Hundreds of miners were killed last year when a landslide triggered a massive landslide in Hpakant.

The Feb. 1, 2021 coup that ousted Aung San Suu Kyi’s civilian government ended efforts to reform the jade mining industry.

Aung San Suu Kyi had begun efforts to reform the jade mining industry through her civilian government, but those efforts ended when the military took power in the Feb. 1 coup.

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