A large landslide buried between 20 and 24 homes near a limestone quarry site on the fringes of Naga City of Cebu Province in the central Philippines early September 20, 2018. Most of the residents were still asleep when the slide took place. 12 bodies have been retrieved and another 12 people pulled out alive in the first few hours. Rescuers are looking for about 50 to 80 trapped people.
The slide was caused by days of heavy monsoon rains and comes just several days after passage of Super Typhoon "Mangkhut," the most powerful storm of the year so far, and another massive landslide that left dozens dead.
Although Naga City didn't take a direct hit from the typhoon, the storm system exacerbated monsoon rains and the city received plenty of water over the past couple of days.
About 20 to 24 houses with all the people inside were buried, officials said, adding that rescuers were looking for about 50 to 80 people.
"Even four-story houses were buried," one of the witnesses told Rappler.
LOOK: A woman was rescued from the landslide in Naga City. | via Arni Aclao pic.twitter.com/Vpj96kGs4t— SunStar Cebu (@sunstarcebu) September 20, 2018
"The responders have to be careful in the retrieval and rescue operations," Gary Cabotaje, a city government spokesman, told ANC news channel. "Most of them are using pickaxes and shovels because it's dangerous to use heavy equipment."
Regional civil defense officials said landslides on Cebu are fairly rare.
Featured image credit: John Rhay Echavez