September 20, 2018 / 5:58 AM / 3 months ago

Landslide kills 12 in the Philippines, dozens feared trapped

MANILA (Reuters) - A landslide triggered by heavy rains killed at least 12 people on Thursday in the central Philippines, as security forces and rescue workers raced to uncover dozens more feared trapped, in the latest of a series of deadly incidents in the past week.

Rescuers pull out a survivor from rubble after a landslide in the City of Naga, Cebu, Philippines September 20, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer

Twelve people were pulled out alive after boulders and earth loosened by rain engulfed a cluster of homes near a limestone quarry on the fringes of Naga City on the island of Cebu, where the tally of those missing stood at about 50.

“The responders have to be careful in the retrieval and rescue operations,” Gary Cabotaje, a city government spokesman, told ANC news channel.

“Most of them are using pickaxes and shovels because it’s dangerous to use heavy equipment.”

Heavy weekend rains brought by Typhoon Mangkhut caused more than 100 landslides, mostly in the mountainous Cordillera region on the main island of Luzon. The storm’s death toll countrywide was 88, police said, the majority from the landslides.

Rescue operations in Cebu were being hampered by rains and loose soil, the provincial government said.

Firefighters, navy, army and police joined the effort to find people trapped alive in the debris of crushed homes.

Resident Vhann Quisido had a lucky escape when a tide of earth and rocks came to a halt behind his house.

“I was sleeping when I heard a loud noise,” he said by telephone. “I was waiting for the land to come into our house. It was very traumatic.”

A major recovery effort was underway in Itogon at a small mining site, where the bodies of 28 people, mostly miners, had been found. Rescuers looking for 52 people buried since Saturday said there was little chance of finding survivors.

Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales, Manuel Mogato and Peter Blaza; Editing by Martin Petty and Clarence Fernandez

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