68 killed, 51 missing after massive landslide hits Davao de Oro, Philippines

Six killed, 46 missing after massive landslide hits Davao de Oro, Philippines

At least 68 people were killed and 51 others are missing after a massive landslide struck a gold-mining village in Maco Municipality, Davao de Oro Province, Mindanao Island, southern Philippines, on Tuesday night (LT), February 6, 2024. Rescue efforts have ended on Monday, February 12.

The landslide took place in the mountain village of Masara in Maco, in an area where the busses were picking up Apex Mining employees. According to initial reports, at least 27 miners who were waiting to be driven home in two parked buses are among the 46 missing. Eight miners managed to escape by jumping from the buses or fleeing on foot. At least 31 people were injured, of them, 3 seriously.

Based on the account of Apex Mining, there were four 60-seater buses and one jeep with a 36-passenger capacity waiting for the outgoing employees of the mine before the disaster struck. One bus had left, while the rest were still waiting when the landslide occurred.

Army troops, police, and volunteers were able to rescue 31 villagers and have resumed the search for missing persons as of Wednesday morning, February 7. The search had been briefly halted due to concerns of further landslides.

Edward Macapili, the provincial disaster official, said that the region had experienced torrential rains in recent weeks, although weather conditions had been clear for the three days preceding the landslide.

“There was no sign that a landslide would occur because the rains stopped on Thursday and by Friday it was already sunny and hot,” Mr Macapili said.

Approximately 600 villagers near the site have been evacuated to safer locations.

Local forecasters attribute the recent heavy rains to a shear line, where warm and cold air masses meet, exacerbating the risk of landslides and flooding.

The forecast for the next 24 hours in Mindanao Island indicates cloudy skies with potential rain showers or thunderstorms, further complicating the current rescue and recovery efforts.


16:16 UTC, February 8

The death toll rose to 11 and the number of missing to 110, officials reported on Thursday, February 8.

According to Davao de Oro provincial spokesperson Edward Macapili, army troops, police and volunteers halted their search for the missing Thursday afternoon due to fears of more landslides and will begin a “retrieval operation” on Friday.

More than 1 165 families have been moved to evacuation centers for their safety.

08:02, February 13

Search and rescue operations ended on Monday, February 12, with the death toll standing at 68 and the number of people unaccounted for (missing) at 51, including mine workers and villagers.

A spokesman for the Davao de Oro provincial disaster office, Edward Macapili, told AFP on Monday that there is already a foul smell in the area now so there’s a need to fast-track the retrieval.

An area around 50 m (164 feet) deep remains to be searched.

The landslide buried three buses and a jeepney waiting for employees of a gold mining firm and 55 nearby houses, leaving 32 other people injured.

Authorities have vowed to continue the search until all those missing are recovered.


1 Philippines: Six killed, 46 missing after massive landslide strikes gold-mining village – AP – February 7, 2024

2 At least six killed, dozens missing in a southern Philippines landslide – Reuters – February 7, 2024

3 Philippine death toll rises to 68 – AFP – February 12


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