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Monday , September 28 2020

Philippines typhoon toll hits 81, expected to rise

Rescuers continue search operations at the site where victims were believed to have been buried by a landslide set off by Typhoon Mangkhut as it lashed across Itogon, Benguet province, northern Philippines, on Sept 19. A Philippine police officer who tried to persuade residents of a mining camp to move to safety as the powerful typhoon approached said they refused to leave, and a day later the storm triggered a huge landslide that buried dozens of people. (AP)

The death toll in the Philippines from Typhoon Mangkhut has climbed to 81 and could hit triple digits as searchers dig through a landslide where dozens are presumed dead, authorities said Wednesday.

Mangkhut swamped farm fields in the nation’s agricultural north and smashed houses when it tore through at the weekend with violent winds and heavy rains. Since then the toll has climbed mostly due to the corpses recovered from the massive landslide in the mining town of Itogon where dozens are still believed buried under the mud.

“From the list I saw 59 people are still missing (at Itogon),” Ricardo Jalad, civil defence chief, told AFP. “If you add that to those already recovered it’s possible the toll could top 100.” The typhoon, the most powerful to strike this year, also battered Hong Kong and killed four in China’s southern province of Guangdong. Searchers at Itogon continued their grim work on Wednesday, digging with shovels and their bare hands in the vast expanse of mud that crushed dwellings used by small-scale miners. (AFP)

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