Confirmed death toll continues to rise after catastrophic landslides

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landslides
Rescue workers at the scene of Thursday’s landslide in Naga City, Cebu. As in Itogon, where a landslide struck last Saturday, search and rescue efforts have been hampered by continuing rainfall. 

The numbers of confirmed deaths caused by the two recent catastrophic landslides in the Philippines continues to rise.

As of today (Saturday, September 22), the death toll of the catastrophe in Itogon, Cordillera province, has risen to 69.

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Meanwhile, in Naga City, Cebu, the number of confirmed dead now stands at 35.

Chief Superintendent Rolando Nana of Cordillera police confirmed the latest casualty list at 8.30pm.

Strong winds and rains brought by Typhoon Ompong triggered a landslide in the area, burying a miners bunkhouse, where dozens were taking shelter, last Saturday morning.

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Yesterday, the Department of National Defense’s Office of Civil Defense scaled down the number of people allowed on the site to just 30 rescuers. This was due to concerns over further landslides being triggered by continuing heavy rain.

Search and rescue operations are continuing in Naga City. As of 5pm today, 44 people are still on the list of the missing.

As in Itogon, poor weather has hampered the bid to find survivors, but responders remain on standby.

Incident commander Baltazar Tribunalo, head of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office in Cebu, said there were still signs of life beneath the rubble.

He added that that the operations remained slow “but steady” due to the movement of soil still soft from rain.

“We want to maintain that the lives inside would still have space to breathe,” he said.

The landslide has affected at least 897 families, or 2,836 individuals since it engulfed a residential area on Thursday.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development said in a statement today that five evacuation centres were currently catering to their needs.

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