NAGA (Philippines), Sept 20 — Rescuers were digging through a landslide that buried at least 10 homes and killed six people in the central Philippines today, as monsoon rains unleashed more misery on the already-battered country.
The new tragedy comes just days after 2018’s most powerful storm, Typhoon Mangkhut, raked the nation’s north, sparking a separate landslide that left dozens dead.
Emergency workers in yellow helmets rushed to the scene of the new disaster in the town of Tina-an on the popular tourist island of Cebu.
Days of heavy monsoon rains caused a steep slope to collapse and now searchers are frantically looking for survivors.
Rescuers dug through debris and thick mud at the site of the slide. Injured survivors were wheeled into the back of ambulances and the dead were laid on pews at a local church.
“We have recovered three bodies. The others sustained minor injuries and we have taken them to hospital,” civil defence spokesman Julius Regner told reporters.
“The rescue effort continues. There (were) about 10-15 houses or households in the area.”
Civil defence officials in the region said landslides are fairly rare on Cebu, an elongated island with low hills.
As today’s rescue unfolded, efforts continued in the hunt for bodies in the mining area of Itogon in the mountainous north of the Philippines, which was the area worst hit by the typhoon.
Most of 81 killed in the storm died in landslides in the Cordillera range, which includes Itogon and other mining towns in a region known for gold mining.
Mangkhut swamped fields in the nation’s agricultural north and smashed houses when it tore through at the weekend.
Itogon is one of the country’s oldest mining hubs, with known gold panning activity stretching back to before the 17th-century Spanish colonial conquest.
Thousands of people from all over the country still flock to the upland town seeking their fortune in largely unregulated mining, which is accompanied by periodic deadly accidents. — AFP