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Six dead, one missing in Philippine landslide

Two killed, thousands displaced in Philippine flooding: officials
Two people have died and more than 32,000 families have been displaced by flash floods in the northern Philippines, disaster relief officials said Sunday. Heavy rains over the past several days have led to flooding in 18 towns and over 200 vilalges in the provinces of Isabela and Cagayan in northern Luzon island, said Anthony Golez, head of Manila's civil defence office. "There were two incidents of drowning," he said, adding that damage to agriculture was also expected to be in the millions. Social workers as well as emergency teams from the national police and the army have been working with local officials to respond to the situation, Golez said. He said President Gloria Arroyo, who is attending the APEC summit in Peru, had ordered the distribution of rice and other relief items.
by Staff Writers
Monkayo, Philippines (AFP) Nov 21, 2008
Six people were killed and at least one is still missing after a landslide demolished part of a shanty town in the southern Philippines, officials said Friday.

The bodies of the six were recovered after they were buried in a landslide near the mountain town of Monkayo, said town councillor Glenda Veralino. An earlier report said the landslide occurred near Sitio Dipo.

Three of the dead were believed to be children, according to civil defence official Antonio Clomo.

The landslide occurred late Thursday after heavy rain loosened soil above a group of shacks.

"There are many rescuers from all over the province. The army, the police are here. We have three bulldozers and a payloader" aiding in the search, said Veralino.

Relatives have confirmed two people are still missing after the landslide, she said.

"There is talk going around that there were a lot of people in the area who may have also been buried by the landslide but so far we only have two who cannot be accounted for," Veralino said.

Hours after she spoke, the sixth body -- the mother of the three dead children -- was found by rescuers. This left only one person unaccounted for.

The digging continued into the night despite drizzling rain which raised fears of a new landslide.

The area, which is located about 200 kilometres (125 miles) east of Davao City, is littered with shanty towns where most of the residents manage to scrape together a living from dangerous, unregulated, small-scale mining.

"The government has declared much of the area a geo-hazard and not suitable for housing," Clomo said.

"The government has told residents that they should leave the area for safer ground during heavy downpours but the warnings are usually ignored."

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China has only identified 19,000 victims of earthquake: official
Beijing (AFP) Nov 21, 2008
Only 19,000 victims of the devastating earthquake that struck China's southwest six months ago have been identified, fewer than a quarter of the total dead or missing, a top official said Friday.

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