Death toll rises to 53 in Myanmar landslide

PAUNG TOWNSHIP, Southern Myanmar-Second Vice President Van Thio has instructed officials and geologists in southern Myanmar's Mon State to immediately test land conditions in hill areas there, after landslides killed at least 57 and left dozens more missing in Mottama, in Paung Township, over the weekend.

Almost 12,000 people have been displaced in Myanmar last week alone, bringing the total number of those in evacuation centers to more than 38,000, the United Nations said.

According to an official, the death toll from a landslide triggered by monsoon rains in eastern Myanmar rose to 34.

He added that at least three sections in major highways in the regions were damaged by severe rainfall that has pummeled the regions for days, causing delay for the transportation of aid to affected areas. Rescue workers carried the body of a landslide victim in Paung township, Monday state, on Saturday.

As the rainy season reaches its peak, armed forces are pitching in.

Rain pounded Mon, Karen and Kachin states, flooding roads, destroying bridges and forcing people to flee by boat.

Families realized they had to leave in the early hours Sunday, packing possessions into boats, rowing towards higher ground or swimming away.

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

The search for victims continued later Sunday though the rain has made the process more hard.

"This year is the worst", a resident of Ye township said. "We thought we were dead", she said.

The landslide hit a village in Paung township on Friday.

About 89,000 people have been displaced by floods in recent weeks, though many have since returned home, said the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. He also visited monasteries that are serving as makeshift relocation camps for an estimated 25,000 people displaced by the floods.

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