The death toll from the landslide in the Philippines rises to 68 Climate news

At least 51 people are still missing, with officials saying time is running out to find more survivors.

The death toll from A Landslide in southern Philippines It has risen to 68 as officials say the window to find more survivors is closing.

Hundreds of rescuers used their bare hands, shovels and heavy earth-moving equipment for nearly a week Looking for those buried Since the landslide hit the mountain village of Masara on the island of Mindanao on Tuesday.

More than a dozen bodies were recovered from the mud on Monday, and 51 people were still missing, including miners and villagers, according to official figures released by the municipal government.

“It has been almost a week since the accident, and we assume that there is no one alive there,” Edward Makabele, spokesman for the Davao de Oro Regional Disaster Office, told AFP.

“There is already a bad smell in the area now, so there is a need to speed up the recovery process.”

Makabele said an area about 50 meters (164 feet) deep still needed to be searched.

A three-year-old girl was pulled alive from under the rubble on Friday, in what rescuers described as a “miracle.”

The landslide injured 32 people and buried 55 homes, three buses and a jeep, a minibus converted from a jeep that was waiting for employees of a gold mining company.

Ariel Kabui, a disaster official in Mako town, said disaster authorities plan to shift their focus from search and rescue to search and recovery starting Tuesday.

Landslides are a frequent danger in most parts of the archipelagic nation due to its mountainous terrain, heavy rains and widespread deforestation due to mining, slash-and-burn agriculture and illegal logging.

Rains fell on parts of Mindanao intermittently for weeks, triggering dozens of landslides and floods that forced tens of thousands of people to take refuge in emergency shelters.

The United States Embassy in Manila said in a statement that the United States, through the United States Agency for International Development, provided $1.25 million in humanitarian aid to affected communities in the southern islands.

The US Department of Defense also provided two C-130 cargo planes to help deliver food parcels to affected communities.

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