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‘Miracle’ rescue nearly 60 hours after Philippine landslide

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  • February 9, 2024

The landslide struck on Tuesday night, destroying houses and engulfing three buses and a jeepney waiting to pick up workers from a gold mine.

At least 11 people were killed and 31 injured, while more than a hundred are still missing, official figures show.

Searchers were in a race against time and weather to find anyone else alive in the thick mud as rain fell over the area on Friday.

While rescuers were using heavy earth-moving equipment in places, they had to rely on their bare hands and shovels in areas where they believed there were bodies.

Sniffer dogs were also being used to detect those buried in the mud and rubble.

Landslides are a frequent hazard across much of the archipelago nation due to the mountainous terrain, heavy rainfall, and widespread deforestation from mining, slash-and-burn farming and illegal logging.

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

Massive earthquakes have also destabilised the region in recent months.

Hundreds of families from Masara and four nearby villages have had to evacuate from their homes and shelter in emergency centres for fear of further landslides.

Schools across the municipality have suspended classes.

The area hit by the landslide had been declared a “no build zone” after previous landslides in 2007 and 2008, Macapili said.

“People were asked to leave that place and they were given a resettlement area, but the people are so hard-headed and they returned,” he said.
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