Random Image Display on Page Reload

Rescuers use bare hands to search for Philippine landslide survivors

This handout photo taken and released on February 7, 2024 by the Philippine Army’s 60th Infantry “Mediator” Battalion shows Philippine soldiers transferring a landslide survivor from a helicopter to an ambulance following a medical evacuation flight from Maco to the Davao Regional Medical Center in Tagum, Davao del Norte province. – At least 11 people were injured when a rain-induced landslide buried two buses picking up workers from a gold mine in the southern Philippines, officials said. (Photo by Handout / Philippine Army’s 60th Infantry “Mediator” Battalion / AFP)
This screengrab from AFPTV aerial video footage taken on February 7, 2024 shows the site of a landslide in Davao de Oro province on Mindanao island in the southern Philippines. – At least five people were killed and 31 injured when a rain-induced landslide engulfed two buses and houses in a mountainous region of the southern Philippines, an official said on February 7. (Photo by Renante Naparan / AFPTV / AFP)

MANILA, Feb 8, 2024 (AFP) – Rescuers used their bare hands and shovels to dig through mud on Thursday in a desperate search for survivors of a landslide in the Philippines as the number of missing nearly doubled to 90, an official said.

Two days after the rain-induced landslide hit the mountainous gold-mining village of Masara on southern Mindanao island, searchers were in a race against time and weather.

At least seven people were killed and 31 injured when the landslide destroyed houses and engulfed three buses and a jeepney waiting for workers from a gold mine on Tuesday night.

Ninety people are missing, up from the previously reported 48, disaster agency official Edward Macapili of Davao de Oro province told AFP, citing police data.

“It is everybody’s hope that people are still alive,” Macapili said.

“Our rescue team is in a hurry because every second counts when it comes to human life.”

The landslide left a deep, brown gouge down the mountain. Rescuers pulled a person alive from the mud 11 hours after it hit, Macapili said.

“So there’s a chance,” he added.

Police, soldiers and rescuers from Davao de Oro and the adjacent Davao del Norte province have been deployed to Masara to help the search and retrieval operation.

While rescuers were using heavy earth-moving equipment in places, they had to rely on their bare hands and shovels in areas where they believed there were bodies, Macapili said.

“The soil that covered the buses was very thick — it could almost cover a two-story building,” he said.

At least 20 mine workers are believed to be entombed in the vehicles.

This handout photo taken on February 7, 2024 and obtained from the Facebook page of the Office of the Provincial Fire Marshal (OPFM) Davao de Oro shows responders conduct rescue operations at the site of a landslide in Maco, Davao de Oro. – At least five people were killed and 31 injured when a rain-induced landslide engulfed two buses and houses in a mountainous region of the southern Philippines, an official said on February 7. (Photo by Handout / Office of the Provincial Fire Marshal (OPFM)
This handout photo taken by the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) taken and received on February 7, 2024 shows Philippines’ President Ferdinand Marcos Jr looking outside the window of an aircraft as he inspects the landslide in Davao de Oro province on Mindanao island in the southern Philippines. – At least five people were killed and 31 injured when a rain-induced landslide engulfed two buses and houses in a mountainous region of the southern Philippines, an official said on February 7. (Photo by Handout / Presidential Communications Office (PCO)

Landslides are frequent hazards across much of the archipelago nation owing to the mountainous terrain, heavy rainfall and widespread deforestation from mining, slash-and-burn farming and illegal logging.

Rain has pounded parts of Mindanao on and off for weeks, triggering dozens of landslides and flooding that have forced tens of thousands of people into emergency shelters.

Huge earthquakes have also destabilised the region in recent months, Science and Technology Secretary Renato Solidum said Wednesday.

Hundreds of families from Masara and four nearby villages have had to evacuate from their homes and shelter in emergency centres for fear of further landslides.

The state weather forecaster has also warned that flash floods and landslides caused by moderate to heavy rain could strike the province in the coming days.

“I’m worried that there will be more heavy rains,” Macapili said.

“Of course that will affect the operations.”

*****
Credit belongs to : https://www.eaglenews.ph/

Check Also

President to address Australia Parliament next week

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. President Marcos will embark on a two-day visit to Australia next …