Tragic landslide in Davao de Oro, Philippines claims 37 lives near Apex Mining site

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In a tragic update from the southern Philippines, the death toll from a devastating landslide that struck on Tuesday night outside a gold mine in Maco town, Davao de Oro province, has risen to 37, confirmed Edward Macapili, an official from Davao de Oro. The landslide, which occurred near a site operated by Apex Mining, engulfed homes and vehicles, leading to a dire search and rescue operation amidst challenging conditions.

The latest figures come as two more bodies were discovered on Sunday, bringing the count to 37 fatalities. In a somewhat hopeful revision, officials have lowered the number of missing persons to 63 from an initial 77, while also reporting 32 injuries from the disaster. The reasons behind the revised figures were not immediately provided.

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Over 300 rescuers have been deployed in the search efforts, which have been severely hindered by continuous heavy rainfall, thick mud, and the looming threat of additional landslides. Despite the resumption of rescue operations on Sunday morning, the prospects of finding more survivors are becoming increasingly unlikely, according to Macapili. “The rescue team is doing its best, even if it’s very difficult,” he stated during a phone interview, emphasizing the grim reality facing the rescue teams and the affected community.

The region has been plagued by torrential rains in recent weeks, exacerbating the risk of floods and landslides, which have now culminated in this tragic event. The community and rescue teams continue their efforts under daunting conditions, holding onto hope while facing the aftermath of one of the deadliest natural disasters to hit the Philippines this year.

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This incident sheds light on the broader issue of natural disasters in the Philippines, highlighting the need for preparedness and resilience in the face of increasing climate-related challenges. As the search for missing persons continues, the focus also turns to recovery and support for the affected families and communities, underscoring the importance of solidarity and assistance in times of disaster.

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The Davao de Oro landslide is a somber reminder of the vulnerability of communities situated near mining sites, particularly in regions prone to natural disasters such as landslides and floods. It underscores the critical need for stringent safety measures, early warning systems, and community education to mitigate the impacts of such events. The ongoing rescue operations highlight the bravery and determination of rescue workers, even as they face nearly insurmountable challenges. Moving forward, it’s imperative for both governmental and non-governmental organizations to collaborate on strengthening disaster response mechanisms and ensuring the safety and well-being of the Philippines’ most at-risk populations.

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