Refugee camp landslide in Thailand leaves 1 dead, 7 missing

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Bangkok (AP) — A landslide at a refugee camp in northern Thailand has left one person dead and seven missing, a disaster response official said Monday.

Ruangrit Pholdee, chief of Mae Hong Son province’s disaster prevention and mitigation office, said 12 people were injured at the Mae La Oon refugee camp, which houses about 9,000 people, mostly members of the Karen ethnic minority from Myanmar.

The Bangkok Post newspaper, citing a report by the provincial governor, said the fatality was a 2-year-old girl.

Runagrit said the Sunday night landslide completely destroyed six shelters and partially damaged seven others, affecting 654 people from 120 households.

The landslide was caused by heavy rain and forest runoff, he said. The camp, recognized by the United Nations, sits in a hilly area around the banks of a river.

The Border Consortium, a non-governmental agency that coordinates the provision of food, shelter and other essentials to refugee camps in western Thailand, says a flash flood at Mae La Oon in September 2002 killed 26 refugees and left more than 250 houses destroyed and 230 severely damaged.