September 17, 2018 / 4:15 AM / 6 months ago

Philippine minister orders small-scale mining halt after landslides

Rescuers search for people trapped in a landslide, after super typhoon Mangkhut hit the country, at a mining camp in Itogon, Benguet, Philippines September 17, 2018. REUTERS/Erik De Castro

MANILA (Reuters) - The Philippines’ environment minister on Monday ordered the stoppage of all small-scale mining activities in a mountainous region in the country’s north following major landslides after super typhoon Mangkhut hit the country.

“I officially order the cease and desist of all illegal small-scale mining in Cordillera Region,” Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Roy Cimatu told a media briefing.

Mangkhut, with hurricane-force winds well over 200 km per hour (124 miles per hour), barreled past the northern tip of the Philippines on Saturday, killing at least 50 people, the majority of them due to landslides.

It then skirted south of Hong Kong and neighboring Macau, before making landfall in China.

Reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr.; editing by Christian Schmollinger

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