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26 die as mudslide hits village

MUDSLIDES tumbled down a rain-soaked mountain in the southern Philippines, burying dozens of shanties in a gold mining village and killing at least 26 people, a provincial governor said yesterday.

A 50-strong police and military rescue team was heading to the remote village of Napnapan to help search for at least six people who are still missing a day after the landslides hit, said Governor Arthur Uy of Compostela Valley province.

The village is about 40 kilometers from the nearest main town and rescuers had to bring in heavy equipment to clear the only road leading to it, police Inspector Winifredo Regidor said.

One mudslide slammed into about 30 shanties, followed by another that swept away a house, Uy said.

About 19 people, most of them miners, were treated for injuries, according to Uy. Three were airlifted in an air force helicopter that brought in a medical team.

The landslide-prone area was saturated after days of rain and residents had ignored warnings to leave, Uy said.

"We have been asking them to leave, and we are planning to cordon the area," he added.

"We are happy to have this gold mining area here. But the dark side are the deaths that occur in these natural calamities."


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