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Philippines: Earthquake halts landslide rescue efforts


Rescue operations that had been underway following a deadly landslide in the Mindanao region of the Philippines were forced to stop on Saturday after the region was hit by a strong earthquake.
According to the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ), a magnitude 5.6 quake struck the region at 11:22 a.m. (0322 GMT).
The quake was 10 kilometers (6 miles) deep, GFZ added.
The Philippine seismology agency recorded a different reading, saying it was a magnitude 5.9 earthquake with a depth of 27 km (16.8 miles).
There were no immediate reports of any injuries or damages from the earthquake.
The Philippine agency has cautioned about aftershocks.
Rescue operations continue
Some 28 people were killed on Tuesday when the gold-mining village of Masara in the province of Davao de Oro was hit by a massive landslide. Hundreds of rescuers had been searching for at least 77 people who were missing when the earthquake struck on Saturday.
“We ordered them [rescuers] to go up to a safer area,” Apex Mines official Ferdinand Doble told reporters on Saturday.
Rains have lashed Davao de Oro in recent weeks, triggering floods and landslides.
The epicenter of the earthquake was around 150 kilometers north of the landslide site.
A three-year-old girl was found alive by rescue workers on Friday after being buried under the rubble for nearly 60 hours.
“We’re still hoping to save more people even after four days,” Davao de Oro provincial disaster chief Randy Loy said at a media briefing.

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