Boat carrying 70 Muslim Rohingya capsizes off western Myanmar; 8 survivors found so far

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An aid worker says a boat carrying 70 Muslim Rohinyga has capsized off the western coast of Myanmar. So far, only eight survivors have been found.

Abdul Melik, who works for the humanitarian organization Action Against Hunger, says the boat was in the Bay of Bengal and headed for Bangladesh when it went down early Sunday.

Relatives of those on board are scouring waters and coastlines.

The incident comes after the United Nations warned that an annual and often deadly exodus of desperate people from Myanmar's Rakhine state appears to have begun. The exodus usually kicks off in November, when seas calm.

The U.N. High Commission for Refugees said Saturday that as many as 1,500 people have fled in the last week and that there were several reports of drownings.