Rescue workers have been digging through the mud to recover more bodies. The landslide occurred on Tuesday night near a gold mine in Maco town, Davao de Oro province, burying homes and vehicles that were transporting employees to the site. The mine is operated by Apex Mining.
In a Facebook post, the provincial government of Davao de Oro stated that the number of fatalities had risen from the earlier count of 37 to 54 as more bodies were discovered. However, the government added that the exact number of missing individuals, currently at 63, is yet to be verified. The landslide also injured 32 people.
Edward Macapili, an official from Davao de Oro, reported that over 300 people were involved in the rescue efforts. However, heavy rain, thick mud, and the risk of further landslides have hampered operations.
Despite the challenging conditions, rescue work resumed on Sunday morning. Macapili mentioned that while it is increasingly unlikely to find survivors, the search will persist. “The rescue team is doing its best, even if it’s very difficult,” he said, reported Reuters.
Davao de Oro has been experiencing torrential rains in recent weeks, leading to severe floods and landslides.
(With agency inputs)