40 miners feared trapped in Philippine landslide

Part of a mountain slope collapsed on the miners’ bunkhouses, casualties expected at 100

A Philippine police officer says at least 40 people, mostly gold miners, are feared to have been trapped in a landslide in the country’s north as seven bodies had been dug out by rescuers.

Police Superintendent Pelita Tacio told The Associated Press that part of a mountain slope collapsed on the miners’ bunkhouses in a far-flung village of Itogon town in Benguet province as Typhoon Mangkhut’s ferocious winds and rain pounded the gold-mining region on Saturday.

Tacio, who was at the scene of the landslide earlier Sunday, says rescuers found another man but could not immediately pluck his body, which was pinned by rocks and mud.

Racing to rescue dozens buried

A mayor in Benguet Province in the Philippines said that dozens of people were trapped when landslides buried a church and a dormitory for miners in the area. Rescuers were racing to dig people out, but many were feared dead.

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“I can’t begin to accept this, but it looks like the casualties here are going to go up to at least 100,” said Victorio Palangdan, the mayor of Itogon, Benguet, a region in the central highlands on Luzon Island.

Philippine typhoon toll increases

The death toll due to typhoon Mangkhut slamming the Philippines rose to 28 on Sunday while dozens were still reported missing, authorities said.

Presidential adviser Francis Tolentino confirmed these figures in Cagayan province, where the season’s most powerful typhoon made landfall on Saturday morning, reports Efe news.

Most of the deaths occurred due to landslides in mountainous regions, which received torrential rainfall and strong winds during Mangkhut’s passage.

Twenty of them occurred in Cordillera region, four in Nueva Ecija and one in Ilocos, according to national government figures.

According to Tolentino, at the moment there is no information on victims in the provinces of Cagayan and Isabela, on the north-eastern coast of the island of Luzon.

President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to visit the affected areas on Sunday and inspect the damage.

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