At least 96 people were dead and many others were reported missing on Thursday after a jade mine collapsed in Myanmar’s Kachin state, according to the authorities.

In a Facebook post, the fire service said that the miners were collecting stones in the jade-rich Hpakant area of Kachin state when a “muddy wave” caused by heavy rain buried them.

“We are still working on the rescue process”, the fire service added.

Hundreds of miners were feared buried as the landslide took place during their work hours, but the exact number of casualties are yet to be known and rescue works are being carried out, a township police official told Xinhua.

Last year, at least 48 people are dead due to landslides that buried several houses in Myanmar town.

In 2019, rescuers recovered at least 94 bodies a day after a landslide struck a habitation at a jade mine in Myanmar’s Kachin state.

More than thousands of people have been displaced by floods in recent years, although many have since been able to return home, according to the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Deadly landslides are frequent in Kachin state, known as land of jade, especially in Hpakant mining region.

Myanmar is the source of much of the world’s finest jade, a nearly translucent green stone that is highly valued in neighbouring China.