Tragedy Strikes Davao de Oro: Death Toll Reaches 68 in Devastating Philippine Landslide
At least 68 individuals have lost their lives in the aftermath of a harrowing landslide that swept through a goldmining village in the Philippines nearly a week ago. The disaster struck Davao de Oro province, leaving 51 people still missing, with little optimism for additional survivors, as rescue efforts continue.
Among the heartbreaking stories, a glimmer of hope emerged as a three-year-old girl was miraculously rescued after spending over 60 hours buried under the mud. Edward Macapili, an official from the disaster agency in Davao de Oro, expressed how this rescue had initially brought hope to the rescuers. However, as the days passed, the chances of finding more survivors diminished.
“It is almost a week after the incident, and… we are assuming that no one is alive there,” Mr. Macapili told AFP news agency on Monday. “There is already a foul smell in the area now, so there’s a need to fast-track the retrieval.”
The landslide, which occurred on a Tuesday night, obliterated 55 homes and engulfed three buses and a jeepney, a type of minibus, waiting to transport workers from the gold mine. Lea Anora, a unit member of the Management of the Dead and the Missing (MDM), reported to ABS-CBN News that the current death toll includes 42 residents and 26 mining employees, with more than 30 people sustaining injuries.
The Philippines frequently faces the peril of landslides due to its mountainous terrain, heavy rainfall, and extensive deforestation resulting from mining and illegal logging activities. The recent heavy monsoon rains in Mindanao have exacerbated the situation, causing landslides and flooding, forcing tens of thousands into emergency shelters.
The rescue operations faced additional challenges as the area experienced a series of earthquakes, including a magnitude 5.9 tremor on Saturday, leading rescuers to temporarily halt their efforts. The devastating combination of natural disasters has left the community grappling with the profound impact of this tragic event.
At least 55 people died and 32 were injured in one of the southern Philippines’ deadliest landslides in recent years, the government of Davao de Oro province said on Monday. https://t.co/Is07n77XUQ
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) February 12, 2024