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25 PEOPLE BURIED 130 STILL MISSING IN PHILIPPINES LANDSLIDE

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Residents dig through the rubble following a landslide that occurred at the small-scale mining community of Pantukan, Compostela Valley in southern Philippines.
Pantukan: At least 25 people were killed in the southern Philippines on Thursday when a landslide buried gold prospectors who had refused to leave an area declared too dangerous for habitation.
Up to 150 people were missing after the landslip hit a remote mountain community on Mindanao island that was settled by migrants in search of instant riches despite being declared off-limits last year due to the danger of landslides.
  • Rescuers using only hand-held tools pulled 25 bodies and 15 injured residents from the rubble after the dawn landslide in Napnapan, near the town of Pantukan, civil defence chief Benito Ramos told AFP.
  • Ramos' agency, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, raised the number of missing to 150 people from an initial estimate of 100, and said the health department was transporting 150 body bags to the site.
  • The local government meanwhile said the rescue had been halted amid heavy rain from a storm off the coast and fears of more landslides.
  • Local military official Colonel Lyndon Paniza, who is coordinating the rescue from Pantukan, about two hours away via rugged mountain roads, said rescuers fear there could be more fatalities.
  • "We expect many were killed since the worst-hit was the middle, where there are more than 50 shanties," Paniza told AFP.
The landslide buried an area measuring about 7,500 square metres as people slept, Paniza added.
The provincial government and local mining firms have been asked to bring heavy equipment to the village.
Source: Gulfnews..Read..more..
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