[WORLD NEWS ★★★]
MINING DISASTER IN MYANMAR
(P1) Hopes FADED on Monday that any of 100 people missing would be found alive after a LANDSLIDE in northern Myanmar buried an ENCAMPMENT near a JADE MINE, and officials said it was still UNCLEAR how many people were living in the area.
(P2) Rescue workers had RECOVERED 113 bodies when the search was SUSPENDED on Monday evening. Two of the bodies recovered were women.
(P3) Heavy EQUIPMENT has been brought in to assist the digging in Hpakant, the site of the landslide in a MOUNTAINOUS area in the northern Kachin State that produces some of the world’s highest-quality jade.
(P4) “We just don’t know how many people exactly were buried since we don’t have any data on people living there,” Tin Swe Myint, head of the Hpakant Township Administration Department, said on Sunday.
(P5) “It was just a SLUM with these … workers living in MAKESHIFT tents.”
(P6) A MAN-MADE mountain of earth EXCAVATED from mines COLLAPSED in the early hours of Saturday, smashing into a settlement at the foot of the SLAG HEAP and burying mine workers as they slept.
(P7) The mines and soil DUMP SITES are HAZARDOUS, and deaths among the many MIGRANT WORKERS who pick through the slag piles for jade are common.
(P8) An official from the Myanmar Gems Enterprise, a division of the Ministry of Mines that oversees the mining and sales of jade and other gems, said that landslides at dump sites were “very common.”
(P9) Ko Sai, a miner who was at a nearby camp, said the landslide hit around 3 a.m., when many miners were sleeping.
(P10) “We just heard a loud noise sounding like thunder and saw that the huge mountain collapsed and a huge wave of RUBBLE was moving and SPRAWLING on a wide area,” Ko Sai said.
(P11) “It was just like a NIGHTMARE,” he said.
(P12) Several companies had dumped mining DEBRIS at the 200-ACRE dump site, said Tin Swe Myint. The dump was near a mine controlled by the Triple One Jade Mining Company, he said.
(P13) Much of the jade that is mined in Hpakant is believed to be SMUGGLED to NEIGHBORING China, where the stone is highly valued.
(P14) Jade mining companies controlled by Myanmar’s powerful military, TYCOONS linked to them, and drug BARONS have made Hpakant a “DYSTOPIAN WASTELAND“, the ADVOCACY group Global Witness said in a statement.
(P15) “There is no REGULATION of the industry, and there is no attempt to keep the dump sites STABLE,” said Global Witness’ Asia Director Mike Davis.
If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.
- Briefly summarize the content of the article in your own words.
- Why do people work at dangerous jobs?
- Is there a population of migrant workers who are active in your country?
- What safety regulations are there in your workplace?
- What was the most dangerous situation that you ever experienced?
EXPRESSIONS TO PRACTICE:
What do the following expressions mean? Practice using each expression in a sentence; extra points if you can use it in conversation.
- Slag heap
- Dump site
- Migrant worker