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Landslide Devastates Village in Southern Philippines, Results in 7 Fatalities and 48 Missing

Manila, Philippines – In a tragic turn of events, a village in the southern region of the Philippines was struck by a landslide, resulting in the death of at least seven individuals and leaving 48 missing, including a group of miners awaiting transportation home. The incident occurred in the mountainous village of Masara, located in Davao de Oro province, on Tuesday night, with rescue operations resuming on Wednesday after a temporary suspension due to landslide risk.

Rescue teams composed of army troops, police, and volunteers managed to save 31 residents who sustained injuries during the catastrophe. In the aftermath, over 750 families were relocated to safer areas in evacuation centers, highlighting the widespread impact of the disaster.

A particularly harrowing aspect of this event was the fate of 27 miners, who were among the missing after being caught in the landslide while sitting in two buses, ready to be transported back home. A few miners were able to escape by breaking windows or running to safety, narrowly avoiding the landslide.

The region had experienced torrential downpours in the weeks leading up to the landslide, although weather conditions had improved with clear skies in the days immediately prior. Despite the clearer weather, the disaster struck swiftly and unexpectedly, as described by Edward Macapili, a spokesperson for Davao de Oro province.

This incident is part of a series of natural disasters affecting the region, including earthquakes that have caused structural damage and a combination of flooding and landslides that have claimed lives in recent weeks.

Notable Mining Accidents in the Philippines:

  • Semirara Mining Disaster (2000): A landslide at the Panian mine on Semirara Island resulted in the deaths of several workers, underscoring the hazards associated with open-pit mining operations.
  • Rapu-Rapu Mine Spill (2005): Cyanide spills occurred at a gold mine on Rapu-Rapu Island, leading to significant environmental damage and affecting local aquatic life.
  • Padcal Mine Spill (2012): A tailings spill at the Padcal mine in Benguet province released a large volume of mine waste into surrounding waterways, causing environmental concerns.
  • Masara Village Landslide (2024): A landslide in Masara, Davao de Oro province, led to the death of at least seven individuals and left 48 others missing, including 27 miners waiting in buses for a ride home. This tragic event highlights the ongoing risks faced by mining communities in the Philippines.
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