New landslide kills at least 15, buries houses in Philippines

Massive landslide kills 21, buries dozens of homes in Philippines

The efforts came as searchers in the Philippines' north continued to work to recover the corpses of a suspected dozens of people buried in a landslide unleashed Saturday by Typhoon Mangkhut.

President Rodrigo Duterte visited the villages hit by the landslide in Naga City on Friday.

About 270 government troops and policemen were deployed to prevent residents from returning to high-risk villages, Sinas said.

Four regional environmental officials, meanwhile, were suspended Friday for telling local officials last month that cracks found in the area of a limestone quarry at the mountain where the landslide occurred were not an imminent danger.

A massive landslide buried dozens of homes near a central Philippine mountain Thursday, killing at least 10 people and sending rescuers scrambling to find survivors after some sent cellphone text messages pleading for help.

Survivors heard a thunderous roar, crashing and banging when the mountainside fell onto rural houses and shanties in two villages in Naga City on Thursday morning.

There are now far too few machines to dig for the dozens of people still missing, they said.

The calls stopped, however, and the relative could not be reached hours later.

Julius Regner, information officer of the Cebu Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Office, said eight injured residents had been brought to hospital, while 60 people were still missing.

City of Naga Mayor Kristine Vanessa Chiong said there are now 897 displaced families and 2,836 individuals in five evacuation centers.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the government would "do everything to alleviate the grief of the victims". "I was waiting for the land to come into our house".

On Thursday, rescuers said families had received text messages from loves ones feared buried in the mud, raising hopes that they were sheltering in air pockets in the debris.By Friday, there was no sign of life.

They were dug out by retrieval teams using a backhoe on Thursday night in a poignant scene witnessed by journalists.

"They are still under the rubble, they are still there".

In this Monday, Sept. 17, 2018, file photo, a resident stands beside toppled houses at the site where victims are believed to have been buried by a landslide after Typhoon Mangkhut lashed Itogon, Benguet province, northern Philippines.

The incident comes just days after another deadly landslide in the mining town of Itogon, in the Cordillera region in the north of Luzon, killed at least 27 people. Cebu province was not directly hit by Mangkhut but the massive typhoon helped intensify monsoon rains in a large part of the archipelago, including the central region, where Naga city lies about 570 kilometers (353 miles) southeast of Manila.

Mangkhut also dumped torrential rains on the key agricultural areas of the Philippines' main northern island of Luzon, causing crop losses that would likely total more than United States dollars 250 million.

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