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Philippines villages buried by landslide after Typhoon Mangkhut

22 September 2018

The Cebu landslide took out a whole section of hillside on which people had built their makeshift homes. "That's why we demolished houses so our rescue teams can have easier access to ground zero of the accident", said Kristine Chiong, mayor of Naga City.

Dozens of people have been buried alive and at least 22 have died after a landslide engulfed two villages in the Philippines, triggered by extreme weather conditions in the aftermath of Typhoon Mangkhut.

Villagers trapped in rubble sent texts pleading for help after a massive landslide hit the Philippines - but the messages had stopped within a few hours, locals said.

Dennis Pansoy, a 41-year-old shipyard worker, had left his wife, two sons and two other relatives in the family home for less than an hour on his way to work when the landslide buried his neighborhood.

A search is still underway for dozens of people feared dead after landslides in the gold mining town of Itogon in the north.

While Mangkhut, locally called Ompong, did not directly hit the central Philippines island, it intensified monsoon rains that could have played a role in destabilising the mountainside in Naga city.

"It was like an natural disaster and there was this thundering, loud banging sound".

"All of us ran out", she said, adding that her husband and children all survived the disaster. "We're striking a balance between intensifying our rescue efforts and ensuring the safety of our rescuers", Naga City councilor Carmelino Cruz said. "We will look for ways to prevent tragedies like this in the future", Roque said in a Palace press briefing, suggesting a major clean-up similar to that on Boracay Island.

Outside, she saw the house of her elderly brother, Lauro, and his family was buried in the landslide.

"Many of our neighbors were crying and screaming for help".

The President also assured that those living in close proximity to ground zero will be relocated to safer areas. "Some wanted to help those who got hit but there was too much earth covering the houses, including my brother's", she said.

Survivors from landslide-affected areas in Sitio Tagaytay and Sindulan issued the call when the President visited them in their evacuation site at the Enan Chiong Activity Center in Barangay South Poblacion, City of Naga on Friday night. It's not clear what set off Thursday's landslide, but some residents blamed the limestone quarries.

The nearest quarry was abandoned about a year ago, but another government-authorized quarry is still being operated not far away, and villagers also profit from the limestone business, said Angeline Templo, an assistant to the mayor.

Philippines villages buried by landslide after Typhoon Mangkhut