Landslide leaves 11 dead, 110 missing

DAVAO DE ORO, PHILIPPINES – The death toll has risen to 11 following a devastating landslide in a southern Philippine village, with 110 people currently reported missing, local officials announced on Thursday.

The catastrophe struck the gold-mining village of Masara in the Davao de Oro province on Tuesday night, injuring at least 31 residents. Authorities, including military personnel, police forces, and volunteers, were compelled to temporarily cease their ongoing search on Thursday afternoon due to the risk of further landslides.

Edward Macapili, the spokesperson for Davao de Oro province, revealed that a “retrieval operation” would commence on Friday. He also acknowledged the grim probability of finding additional survivors among those missing.

Local officials moved more than 1,165 families to evacuation centers in response to the disaster. Among those missing are gold miners who were waiting in two buses to be driven home when the landslide occurred, burying the vehicles.

Several miners managed to escape by jumping out of bus windows or fleeing at the moment of the landslide. While the area had been subjected to heavy rain in recent weeks, the weather had reportedly cleared at the time of the incident. Nevertheless, the officials said the region had experienced earthquakes that damaged houses and buildings in the past months.