A family of five, including three children, were killed in a landslide triggered by a flood after several days of heavy rain in Kachin State.
Doi Pyi Sa, head of the Refugee Relief Committee for the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO), said the family were internally displaced persons (IDPs) at the Je Yang displacement camp, and that their house was buried under debris when an overhanging hillside gave way and crashed down upon them on Tuesday morning.
“The family was killed in the incident when a landslide hit their house at 6:40am,” he said. “Two bodies were found buried under two feet of earth. It took about another three hours to recover the other bodies. The incident took place while the children were getting ready to go to school – they were having breakfast.”
The funeral for the family – three boys aged four, 13 and 15, their mother and 70-year-old grandmother – was held later that day.
The camp officials, citing fears of further disasters while heavy rains continue, relocated the rest of the IDPs into the camp’s main building.
Doi Pyi Sa said the road connecting Je Yang and Lajayang displacement camps was also buried under mud, effectively disrupting transportation between the two camps, which are situated near the Sino-Burmese border.
Je Yang IDP camp is home to some 8,000 refugees forced out of their villages due to fighting between the KIO and Burmese government forces. Some have been at the camp for three years.
Burma’s state-run Myanma Ahlin also reported that the road connecting Myitkyina and Bhamo has been cut by a landslide that took place between Dawhpumyang, about 10 miles from Je Yang, and Lajayang.
Meanwhile, flooding from the Ruili River, at the Sino-Burmese border town of Muse, has inundated residential areas and farmland on both sides of the border.
A local villager said the cross-border route from Muse to Ruili and areas around nearby Namhkam have been submerged by floods, hampering transportation and daily life for the local population.