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Landslide in Myanmar Kills 51, Troops Deployed for Rescue Operations

The disaster Friday in southeastern Mon state was the worst in recent memory and hundreds of emergency response workers were still pulling bodies out of the muddy wreckage early Sunday.

AFP

Updated:August 11, 2019, 3:09 PM IST
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Landslide in Myanmar Kills 51, Troops Deployed for Rescue Operations
Residents and survivors sit at the site of a landslide in Mottama, Mon state, Myanmar, August 10, 2019. REUTERS/Ann Wang
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Mawlamyine: Myanmar troops were deployed to flood-hit parts of the country on Sunday to help with relief efforts after the death toll from a deadly landslide jumped to 51.

Every year monsoon rains hammer Myanmar and other countries across Southeast Asia, submerging homes, displacing thousands and triggering landslides. But the disaster Friday in southeastern Mon state was the worst in recent memory and hundreds of emergency response workers were still pulling bodies out of the muddy wreckage early Sunday.

Heavy rains pounded Mon, Karen and Kachin states, flooding roads and destroying bridges.

As the rainy season reaches its peak, the country's armed forces are pitching in. "Our regional military commands are working to help with the search and rescue process in disaster areas," Brigadier General Zaw Min Tun told AFP. "Helicopters will be used to supply food."

The bulk of the effort is focused on hard-hit Mon state, which sits on the coast of the Andaman sea.

Floodwaters have submerged more than 4,000 houses in the state and displaced more than 25,000 residents who have sought shelter in monasteries and pagodas, according to state-owned Global New Light of Myanmar.

Vice President Henry Van Thio visited landslide survivors in a Paung township village on Saturday and "spoke of his sorrow" while promising relief assistance, the paper reported.

Around 89,000 people have been displaced by floods in recent weeks, although many have since been able to return home, according to the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

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