Exclusive Reports

Thu, Apr

Philippines Landslide Death Toll Increases To 68

Middle East & Asia News
  • Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
  • Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times

The death toll following Tuesday's landslide at a gold mining village in Davao de Oro province, Philippines has risen to 68 according to officials. A three-year-old girl was the last person pulled alive from the mud. Her rescue after more than 60 hours buried was described as "a miracle". A disaster agency official of the province, Edward Macapili, said that at the time of the rescue of the girl it had given hope to the workers. But on Monday, those hopes appear to have faded.

"It is almost a week after the incident and... we are assuming that no one is alive there," Mr. Macapilit told AFP news agency.

"There is already a foul smell in the area now so there is a need to fast-track the retrieval."

The landslide hit the mountain village of Masara in Davao de Oro province on Tuesday night after weeks of torrential rains.

Among those missing were gold miners who had been waiting in two houses to be driven home when the landslide struck and buried them.

Rocks, mud, and trees slid more than 700m (2,300 feet) down a steep mountainside near the Apex Mining Co concession, burying an 8.9-hectare (22-acre) section of the Masara community.

Over 1,100 families have been moved to evacuation centres for their safety, disaster response officials said.

Rain has pounded parts of the southern region on and off for weeks, triggering dozens of landslides and floods that have forced tens of thousands of people into emergency shelters.