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Philippines rescues 45 survivors in landslide, search continues

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Manila: Rescuers in the Philippines have recovered 45 survivors from a landslide on Tuesday that buried estimated 86 persons in a mining town in Davao de Oro province in the southern Philippines, a military spokesperson said on Wednesday.

Rosa Ma. Cristina Rosete-Manuel, spokesperson for the military’s Eastern Command, said that 41 more employees of a mining firm in the area are still unaccounted for.

Manuel said three of the 45 survivors are “in critical condition requiring urgent air evacuation.” Efforts continue to locate and rescue the rest declared by the Apex Mines firm, she added.

Around 600 people near the site have been evacuated safely, Manuel said, adding that “unaccounted individuals were believed to be affected by the landslide.”

“The roads remain impassable, and there is no cellphone signal in the area,” the spokesperson said. The military deployed teams to establish radio contact and help in the rescue and retrieval operations.

Ed Macapili of the provincial disaster prevention agency told a radio interview that the rescue operation for the buried resumed early Wednesday morning.

The landslide occurred around 7:50 p.m. local time (1150 GMT) Tuesday near a mining site in Maco, a coastal mining town in Davao de Oro province.

Davao de Oro is one of the provinces in the Davao region hit by floods and landslides due to nonstop rain since Jan. 28. The government said that over 20 people died in the disaster that affected nearly 800,000 people in the region.

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