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Seven killed in Philippine landslide

This handout photo taken and released by the Municipality of Monkayo on January 18, 2024 shows rescuers conducting a rescue and retrieval operation, a day after a landslide hit a house in Monkayo, where at least seven people were killed, a disaster official said, with the death toll expected to rise. The incident happened in the morning in a mountainous gold mining region of Davao de Oro province on Mindanao island, where heavy rain has triggered flooding and landslides this week. (Photo by Handout / Municipality of Monkayo / AFP)

MANILA, Jan 19, 2024 (AFP) – At least seven people were killed when a landslide hit a house in the southern Philippines on Thursday, a disaster official said, with the death toll expected to rise.

The incident happened in the morning in a mountainous gold mining region of Davao de Oro province on Mindanao island, where heavy rain has triggered flooding and landslides this week.

A family of eight — including six children — had left their evacuation centre and returned home for a prayer meeting with other villagers, Monkayo municipal disaster officer Rocris Idul told AFP.

Rescuers retrieved seven bodies from the mud, including those of the children. Another four people were still missing, Idul said.

“There’s a very slim chance they can survive,” Idul said, noting the huge volume of mud that buried the house.

Three people were pulled out alive, including one who was severely injured, Idul said.

Monkayo Mayor Manuel Zamora had issued a warning on Wednesday for people living in “high risk” areas of the municipality to leave their homes, his chief of staff, Rodielyn Manugas, told AFP.

Schools in the municipality were ordered to suspend classes on Friday, with more heavy rain expected in the region.

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