The death toll from a landslide in southern Myanmar has risen to 61 as search operations continued, the country’s Fire Services Department said on Tuesday.
The village of The Phyu Gon, located at the foot of a mountain in Mon state’s Paung township, was devastated by a landslide on the morning of August 9 after torrential rains pounded the area the previous night.
More than two dozen homes were destroyed by the cascade of mud, displacing more than 150 villagers. At least 35 people were treated for injuries at nearby hospitals.
Military personnel and local volunteers were assisting in the search operations alongside Myanmar’s Fire Services Department.
Volunteers told the state-run newspaper Global New Light of Myanmar that several people buried in the mud believed to be dead, but the bodies have proved difficult to retrieve.
Myanmar is battered annually by a monsoon season which strikes countries across Southeast Asia, leaving tens of thousands displaced from flooded homes and setting off deadly landslides.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said that monsoon flooding displaced more than 7,000 people last week in Mon state.
Apart from the landslide in Paung, houses and a school in other townships were washed away, roads were blocked and villages were submerged.
Nearly 12,000 people have been displaced in Myanmar this week, bringing the total number of those in evacuation centres to more than 38,000, the UN said.
Vietnam has also experienced heavy flooding this week, with at least eight people killed in the country’s central highlands and rescuers using a zip line to carry dozens to safety.