DAVAO, Philippines (AP) — A landslide set off by days of heavy rain buried a house where people were holding Christian prayers in the southern Philippines, killing at least seven people, including children, and seriously injuring two others, a disaster-response official said.
Five to 10 people remained unaccounted following the landslide in a far-flung mountain village in the gold-mining town of Monkayo in Davao de Oro province, Ednar Dayanghirang, regional chief of the government’s Office of Civil Defense, said Thursday night.
Rescuers stopped their search for more victims at mid-afternoon Thursday due to heavy rains that could cause more landslides, he said. The search and rescue work resumed on Friday.
“They were praying in the house when the landslide hit,” Dayanghirang told The Associated Press by telephone. “It’s sad but it’s the reality on the ground.”
Aside from the landslide, days of heavy rains also flooded low-lying villages and displaced more than 6,000 people in two other outlying provinces, he said.
The rains were sparked by what local forecasters call a shear line – the point where warm and cold air meet. At least 20 storms and typhoons lash the Philippine archipelago each year specially during the rainy season that starts in June.
In 2013, Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest to hit on record, left more than 7,300 people dead or missing, flattened entire villages, swept ships inland and displaced more than 5 million in the central Philippines.
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