MANILA: The death toll from a massive Philippine landslide near a gold mine abruptly rose to 54, with the recovery of 19 more bodies from beneath the rubble in the southern mountain village of Masara on Sunday, local officials said.

Sixty-three other miners and residents still missing, said the municipality of Maco, and provincial disaster official Randy Loy.

The landslide buried a bus terminal for employees of a gold mining firm and 55 nearby houses on Tuesday night, leaving 35 people dead and 32 others injured.

Rocks, mud and trees slid more than 700 metres down a steep mountainside near the Apex Mi­ning Co concession, burying a 22-acre section of the Masara community.

A three-year-old girl was pulled alive from under the rubble on Friday, in what rescuers described as a “miracle”.

The authorities have vowed to continue the search until everyone listed as missing is recovered.

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

Published in Dawn, February 12th, 2024

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