Hpakant landslides kill seven

Writer: 
Tun Lin Aung (Myitkyina)

 

Heavy rains triggered landslides in Hpakant on June 22, killing seven people.

Shwe Thein, an executive of National League for Democracy in Hpakant Township said: “It rained cats and dogs since 7 am till noon. Two died due to landslide between Whaykhar and Hmawkatpin. Around four scavengers died at Myanmar Sithu Mining block. According to an unconfirmed source, seven people died in Seikmu village-tract and two women in Hpakant due to the disaster. Land sites here are not in normal condition. The natural environment has deteriorated. Now floodwater has started receding.”

MP Darshila Hsaing from Hpakant Township Constitunecy-2 said: “Flooding is common. Now there are heavy rains. Incessant rains have triggered landslides and the floating of soil wastes. Two children died due to landslide in Hmawkatpin. Currently, floods hit Ngapyawtaw, Myoma, Ayemyathayar, Mashikahtaung, Hsaingtaung and Seikmu.  

Tin Htike, director of Kachin State Department of Meteorology and Hydrology said: “More than three inches of rain has fallen in Myitkyina. There is no report of rainfall as the department has no weather station there. There may be heavy rains in Kachin State, resulting in landslides and flash flooding. Locals should be cautious about hazards.

MP La Hsaing said at Kachin State Parliament: “Flooding hit about 20 villages on Uru River and other wards in Hpakant Township every year as the bed level of Uru River rises. Flooding damaged hundreds of houses. The River Course Clearance Committee has no authority. There is no improvement as silt dredging and the disposal of soil wastes is equal. The problem can be solved after the systematic handlings of soil waste disposals.”

In 2014, locals sent a complaint to the Vice-President and other organizations about undisciplined disposals of waste soils by jade mining companies into Uru River.

Mountains, creeks and ravines have disappeared due to large-scale jade mining in Hpakant. The region faces floods and high temperatures.