NAGA, Philippines: A landslide triggered by heavy rains on Thursday (Sep 20) killed at least four people in the central Philippines, with dozens feared trapped in the latest of a string of deadly incidents over six days.
Four people were pulled out alive after boulders and earth loosened by rain engulfed a cluster of homes near a limestone quarry on the fringes of Naga City on the central island of Cebu.
"The landslide buried about 20 to 24 houses and all the people inside were trapped," regional police official Debold Sinas told reporters.
Rescuers were looking for about 50 to 80 people, city councillor Carmelino Cruz told the ANC news channel.
"The ground is still shaky," Cruz added. "Every now and then you will hear vibrations."
Emergency workers in yellow helmets rushed to the scene of the new disaster in the town of Tina-an on the popular tourist island of Cebu.
Days of heavy monsoon rains caused a steep slope to collapse and now searchers are frantically looking for survivors.
Rescuers dug through debris and thick mud at the site of the slide. Injured survivors were wheeled into the back of ambulances and the dead were laid on pews at a local church.
"We have recovered three bodies. The others sustained minor injuries and we have taken them to hospital," civil defence spokesman Julius Regner told reporters.
"The rescue effort continues. There (were) about 10-15 houses or households in the area."
Civil defence officials in the region said landslides are fairly rare on Cebu, an elongated island with low hills.
RESCUE EFFORTS CONTINUE IN AREAS HIT BY TYPHOON
The new tragedy comes just days after 2018's most powerful storm, Typhoon Mangkhut, caused more than 100 landslides, most in the mountainous Cordillera region on the main island of Luzon. The storm's death toll countrywide was 88 by Thursday, police said, most from the landslides.
As Thursday's rescue unfolded, efforts continued in the hunt for bodies in the mining area of Itogon in the mountainous north of the Philippines, which was the area worst hit by the typhoon.
A major recovery effort was underway at a small mining site in the area, where the bodies of 21 people, mostly miners, had been found by late on Wednesday.
Rescuers looking for 53 people buried since Saturday say there is little chance of finding survivors.
Rescuers in Cebu on Thursday had heard cries and shouting from under the rubble, media said.
"I was sleeping when I heard a loud noise," said Vhann Quisido, who had a lucky escape when a tide of earth and rocks stopped behind his house.
"I was waiting for the land to come into our house. It was very traumatic," he said by telephone.
Most of 81 killed in the storm died in landslides in the Cordillera range, which includes Itogon and other mining towns in a region known for gold mining.
Mangkhut swamped fields in the nation's agricultural north and smashed houses when it tore through at the weekend.
Itogon is one of the country's oldest mining hubs, with known gold panning activity stretching back to before the 17th-century Spanish colonial conquest.
Thousands of people from all over the country still flock to the upland town seeking their fortune in largely unregulated mining, which is accompanied by periodic deadly accidents.