6 dead, 46 missing in Maco landslide

DAVAO. Aerial photo of the area in Barangay Masara, Maco, Davao de Oro that was hit by a landslide on Tuesday night, February 6, 2024.
DAVAO. Aerial photo of the area in Barangay Masara, Maco, Davao de Oro that was hit by a landslide on Tuesday night, February 6, 2024.PCO photo

A LANDSLIDE left at least six villagers dead and 46 others missing, including miners waiting in two buses for a ride home, in a gold-mining village in Davao de Oro, officials said Wednesday, February 7, 2024.

Army troops, police and volunteers rescued 31 villagers who were injured when the landslide hit the mountain village of Masara in the remote town of Maco in Davao de Oro province Tuesday night, February 6.

They resumed the search on Wednesday morning after suspending it the night before due to fears of more landslides, officials said.

More than 750 families have been moved to evacuation centers since the landslide struck, disaster response officials said.

Among the missing were 27 miners who were waiting to be driven home in two parked buses when the landslide hit in clear weather, Davao de Oro provincial spokesperson Edward Macapili said.

Eight miners who were among those waiting jumped out of the bus windows or dashed away and survived. A third bus had already left, Macapili said.

Torrential rains that have swamped the region on and off in recent weeks have eased and the weather was clear in the previous three days, he said.

“It happened so fast,” Macapili said by telephone. “They suddenly saw the landslide cascading directly toward them.”

Three seriously injured victims will be evacuated by helicopter, regional military spokesperson Colonel Rosa Rosete-Manuel said by telephone.

Earthquakes in recent months had damaged buildings in the southeastern region, and more than a dozen villagers have died in recent weeks from flooding and landslides, according to disaster response officials.

A landslide buried a house and killed 10 people last month in Monkayo town, also in Davao de Oro province, officials said. (AP)

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