Rescue operations resume in Compostela

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Nine volunteer groups search for survivors

MANILA, Philippines – Rescuers aboard a 14-vehicle convoy departed on Friday, January 5, for the site of a deadly landslide in Pantukan, Compostela Valley, to resume rescue operations that were halted Thursday due to rains.

At least 9 civilian and military groups are part of the rescue effort in sitio Diat Uno, Barangay Napnapan, Pantukan, according to reports from the Army’s 10th Infantry Division, which is based in Mawab, Compostela Valley.

Various government agencies said the landslide has killed 25 people and left at least 8 missing. Other local authorities however put the number of missing between 100 to 150, based on the locals’ estimates of the number of people living in the area at the time of the landslide.

At least 16 people survived the disaster. Six of them are still in the hospital, with one in critical condition.

Rescuers have also retrieved the bodies of 18 fatalities, 9 of whom remain unidentified, the same reports from the 10th Infantry Division said.

The landslide occurred barely 9 months after a similar one hit the same mining town. The Good Friday landslide in April 2011 cost the lives of 14 people, according to

Unregulated small-scale mining, in operation for 3 decades now in the province, has been blamed for the constant landslides in the area. Miners have been constantly barred from living in the dangerous areas in Pantukan.

As a result, President Benigno Aquino III has ordered a probe into the landslide. –

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