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Philippines: Landslides Caused by Typhoon Mangkhut Trap Miners

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Philippine Army and US Marines

Philippine Army help U.S. Marines and Sailors. Photo: U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Raymond D. Petersen III.

Philippine rescuers reported on Sunday that dozens of gold miners and their families could be trapped by a landslide that buried an old shaft and areas converted into living spaces in Benguet province as the death toll from Typhoon Mangkhut rises.

The typhoon slammed into the Philippines on Saturday bringing winds of 170 kph (105 mph) with gusts of 260 kph (160 mph), killing as many as 60 people and government and municipal officials expect the death toll to grow.

Francis Tolentino, a senior government official sent by President Rodrigo Duterte to manage relief and response efforts, said at least 42 landslides were triggered by heavy rains dumped by Mangkhut.

Mayor Victorio Palangda of Itogon town in Benguet province said that 32 people were confirmed dead in his town alone, while up to 50 are still missing. A small scale mining bunkhouse believed to shelter dozens of people also was buried.

“I can’t begin to accept this, but it looks like the casualties here are going to go up to at least 100,” he said.

The town teems with small scale mining operations. Palangda said mining company Benguet Corp. abandoned the bunkhouse long ago, but miners had often used it as living quarters.

Full story: BenarNews

Jeoffrey Maitem, Karl Romano and Luis Liwanag
Baggao, Philippines

Copyright ©2018, BenarNews. Used with the permission of BenarNews.

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