Nearly 30 people, including schoolchildren, feared dead after landslides in Myanmar

Nearly 30 people, including a dozen schoolchildren, were feared dead after landslides triggered by torrential rains hit southeastern Myanmar, a Red Cross official said Friday.

Landslides were reported in four places near Myeik, also known as Mergui, on Wednesday, said the official, who said the death toll included 12 students from a small primary school engulfed by mud in Kyaukka village near Palaw, about 500 kilometers (300 miles) southeast of Yangon.

The official, who asked not to be identified because he is not authorized to speak to the press, said that at least 27 people were believed to have been killed and an uncertain number of others injured.

He said casualty figure cannot yet be finalized since rescue operations are continuing and injured people are being treated at nearby hospitals.

The state-controlled press has reported that the landslides caused loss of life and property but gave no details. Casualties from natural disasters and accidents are seldom reported in the state-run media.

Heavy rains also caused damage in Magway Division, about 550 kilometers (330 miles) northwest of the capital, reported the daily newspaper Kyemon.

A bridge on Kyaukhtu-Htilin highway in the division's Hsaw township had washed away due to torrential rains on Monday, the newspaper said, adding that there had been landslides in the same region.

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