The death toll from the landslide rises to 54 in the southern Philippines Climate news

Authorities say 63 people are still missing, as rescue efforts are hampered by heavy rain, thick mud and the threat of more landslides.

The death toll from the landslide that struck a gold mining village in the southern Philippines has risen to 54 people, while 63 others are still missing, Philippine authorities said.

the A landslide hits the mountainous village of Masara in Davao de Oro province on Tuesday evening after weeks of heavy rain.

The Davao de Oro regional government said in a Facebook post that 54 bodies had been recovered, bringing the previous death toll to 37 earlier in the day, as rescue workers found more bodies. She added that at least 32 residents survived injuries, but 63 were still missing.

Among the missing are gold miners who were waiting on two buses to return home when the landslide occurred and buried them.

More than 300 people participated in the rescue operation, but operations were hampered by heavy rain, thick mud and the threat of more landslides, Davao de Oro official Edward Makabili said.

Makabele said rescue work resumed on Sunday morning. Asked if there were still survivors, he said it was indeed “unlikely”, but the search would continue. He told Reuters news agency: “The rescue team is doing its best, even if it is very difficult.”

Rocks, mud and trees slid more than 700 meters (2,300 feet) down a steep mountainside near the Apex mining concession, burying an 8.9-hectare (22-acre) section of the Masara community.

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

Disaster response officials said that more than 1,100 families had been moved to evacuation centers for their safety.

Rain fell on parts of the southern region intermittently for weeks, leading to dozens of landslides and floods that forced tens of thousands of people to seek emergency shelters.

Officials said earthquakes have also destroyed homes and buildings in the area in recent months.

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

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