Landslides in Kachin State cause food shortages

Landslides in Kachin State cause food shortages

Around 15 villages in Kachin State’s Hsawlaw Township are facing food shortages following  landslides triggered by heavy rains over the weekend.

Yaw Na, a former MP in the Kachin State parliament, said that landslides completely destroyed two villages — Larchin and Zapanhka — leaving more than 100 families homeless.

“The villages are miles away from one another and the army is airdropping aid supplies to areas that are not otherwise accessible,” said Yaw Na.

Residents of the affected areas were advised on the weekend to seek shelter in the village of Kanpan in Chipwi Township, which is still reachable by road.

Officials said that so far there have been no reports of casualties from the disaster.

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Kachin State is prone to extreme flooding and landslides. In 2014 and 2015, flooding in jade-mining areas in the state’s north displaced many local communities.

Widespread flooding and landslides in July last year decimated nearly one million acres of rice crops and displaced over 300,000 households.

Last year’s flooding was so severe that that it stymied the country’s economic growth to levels lower than previously forecast by the World Bank.

This year, Kachin State has been spared some of the worst of the extreme weather that has hit large parts of the country in recent weeks. However, strong winds did extensive damage to three camps for internally displaced persons in the state’s Chipwi and Waingmaw townships on 19 April.

 

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