Landslide toll in the Philippines rises to 54

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MANILA: On Sunday, 19 more remains were found buried beneath the debris in the southern mountainous community of Masara, raising the total number of fatalities from the big Philippine avalanche near a gold mine to 54, according to local officials.

According to Randy Loy, the provincial disaster official, and the town of Maco, sixty-three more miners and citizens are still unaccounted for.

Tuesday night’s avalanche covered 55 surrounding homes as well as a bus station for workers of a gold mining company, leaving 35 people died and 32 injured.

A 22-acre portion of the Masara settlement was buried as rocks, mud, and trees tumbled more than 700 meters down a precipitous mountainside close to the Apex Mining Co concession.

In what rescuers called a “miracle,” a three-year-old child was retrieved unharmed from under the debris on Friday.

The hunt will go on until every person on the missing person’s list is found, the authorities have pledged.

Because of the country’s rugged geography, frequent high rainfall, and extensive deforestation through mining, slash-and-burn farming, and illegal logging, landslides are a common hazard over much of the archipelago.

SOURCE: DAWN NEWS

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