Advertisement

Philippines landslide kills 6 people and buries 27 in two buses

Philippines landslide kills 6 people and buries 27 in two buses

A landslide in a southern Philippines province killed at least six people, injured 31, and buried homes and two buses carrying 27 passengers, officials said on Wednesday.

Around 27 people were missing after a rain-induced landslide struck two buses and houses in a gold-mining village in the southern Philippines.

A search and rescue operation was underway to find the missing people who could be trapped inside the buses as roads and communication lines were damaged, hampering the efforts by crew workers, provincial officials said.

A landslide struck the far-flung Masara village of Davao de Oro province on Mindanao island as two buses with dozens of miners were burried under the cascading part of a mountainside.

Eight miners who were among those waiting on two parked buses that would have taken them home from work Tuesday night jumped out of the bus windows or dashed away, surviving the landslide, provincial government spokesperson Edward Macapili said.

At least 11 residents of the town were also injured while it is still not known how many people were buried in their houses after the landslide.

"It happened so fast," Mr Macapili told The Associated Press. "They suddenly saw the landslide cascading directly toward them."

Torrential rains have lashed the region on and off in recent weeks, forcing tens of thousands of residents to move to emergency shelters. At least 18 people have lost their lives and properties are damaged in recent flooding and landslides, national disaster agency said in its latest update.

A handout photo provided by the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) shows rescuers working as they continue a search operation at a landslide-hit village in the town of Maco (EPA)
A handout photo provided by the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) shows rescuers working as they continue a search operation at a landslide-hit village in the town of Maco (EPA)

But Mr Macapili said the rains have eased in last three days and the weather was clear.

"There was no sign that a landslide would occur because the rains stopped on Thursday and by Friday it was already sunny and hot," Mr Macapili said.

The Filipino military earlier reported a larger number of missing miners and survivors, citing challenges such as impassable roads and poor communication lines that hindered efforts to obtain precise information from the village.

Three people were seriously injured and were evacuated on an army helicopter, regional military spokesperson Col Rosa Rosete-Manuel said.

The search for those missing was suspended on Tuesday night due to the darkness and fears of more landslides and was resumed on Wednesday.

Responders conduct rescue operations at the site of a landslide (Office of the Provincial Fire Ma)
Responders conduct rescue operations at the site of a landslide (Office of the Provincial Fire Ma)

Around 600 villagers living near the landslide-hit area have been evacuated to safer communities, officials said.

"There are reports of unaccounted individuals believed to be affected by the landslide," Rosete-Manuel said without elaborating.

In the southeastern region, earthquakes over the past months have caused damage to buildings. Additionally, disaster-response officials reported that over a dozen villagers lost their lives in recent weeks due to flooding and landslides.

Last month, a landslide in Monkayo town, Davao de Oro province buried a house and 10 people were left dead.