Philippines: Landslide hits, 27 miners missing, search underway

Recent heavy rainfall that has inundated the region intermittently has subsided, and the weather has been clear for the past three days, as stated by an official.

Efforts were underway on Wednesday to locate 27 miners who went missing after a landslide struck buses and residences in a gold-mining village in the southern Philippines, according to officials.

The exact number of individuals trapped in their homes during the landslide that occurred in Masara village on Tuesday night, in the remote town of Maco in Davao de Oro province, remains unclear. Provincial government spokesman Edward Macapili reported that 11 residents sustained injuries.

Among those affected were eight miners who had been waiting on two parked buses to take them home from work on Tuesday night. They managed to escape by either leaping from the bus windows or fleeing, while a third bus had already departed, Macapili stated.

The recent torrential rains that have intermittently affected the area have eased, with clear weather prevailing over the preceding three days, as confirmed by Macapili.

Describing the event as sudden, Macapili recounted how the miners quickly noticed the landslide approaching directly towards them.

The military had earlier reported a higher number of missing and surviving miners, citing impassable roads and poor communication lines as challenges hindering efforts to obtain more specific details from the village.

A military spokesman for the region, Col. Rosa Rosete-Manuel, stated that three individuals with significant injuries were supposed to be flown out by helicopter. After being momentarily halted the night before owing to darkness and fears of more landslides, search activities were resumed on Wednesday, according to officials.

About 600 people who lived in the vicinity of the landslide-affected region have been moved to areas that are less dangerous. Nevertheless, according to Rosete-Manuel, there have been accounts of missing people who are thought to have been impacted by the landslide.

Recent earthquakes in the southeastern region have caused damage to buildings, and over a dozen villagers have lost their lives in recent weeks due to flooding and landslides, disaster response officials reported. According to officials, a landslide last month in Monkayo town, also in the province of Davao de Oro, buried a house and claimed 10 lives.

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