YANGON, Myanmar – At least 33 people were killed in a landslide that buried several houses in Myanmar, official sources reported Saturday.
The landslide happened on Friday in the town of Paung, in the southeastern state of Mon, according to local authorities.
It was caused by heavy rains that have plagued the region for days and that have forced around 38,000 people throughout the country to leave their homes, according to United Nations figures.
On Saturday, the fire department updated the number of victims in a statement and warned that the figure could increase again during the ongoing search and rescue operation.
One of the survivors, a 70-year-old woman, who did not give her name, told Efe on the phone that she has lost 13 family members to the natural disaster, which she described as “unprecedented during her life.”
Another survivor Ko Chan Aye lost 14 members of his family who were killed in the disaster and was only saved himself because he was out shopping in another area when the landslide hit.
“I think there could have been more than a hundred people buried. I have no hope that many will remain alive,” he told Efe.
Hundreds of residents from nearby towns have been cut off because the earthfall blocked roads and were waiting for assistance.
Dozens of excavators and heavy machinery have been deployed in attempts to find any survivors alive in the quagmire.