5 Jan 2012

Landslide kills 25 in Philippines

9:26 pm on 5 January 2012

A landslide in the Philippines has killed at least 25 people and left dozens of others missing.

It struck near the Kingking area on the southern island of Mindanao in the early hours of Thursday morning, engulfing a community of gold prospectors.

It was the second landslide in the area in about nine months.

A civil defence official said soldiers were digging out buried houses and victims.

Government officials said there had been cracks in the mountains, caused by earlier landslides, and rain over the past weeks could have loosened soil.

They say people had been warned to stay away from the area as early as 2010 but residents ignored the warning

The ABC reports that around 200 people were living at the site, which is mined mostly by small-scale, illegal miners and their families.

About 1,500 people died on Mindanao Island when Typhoon Washi caused flash floods in the southern Philippines on 27 December.