More dead unearthed from Itogon landslide as new typhoon nears


Posted at Sep 23 2018 04:47 PM

ITOGON, Benguet -- Rescuers pulled out 7 more fatalities from mounds of soil and rock that buried the bunkhouse of miners in this mountain town on Sunday, as a new typhoon roared closer to the country. 

Deadly landslides struck Itogon last weekend when typhoon Ompong whipped the northern Philippines. The same area is expected to bear the brunt of typhoon Trami, which is expected to enter the country's area of responsibility Sunday.

The discovery of the latest fatalities in Itogon's Barangay Ucab raises the death toll there to 49, the disaster office said. 

Twenty-five people perished from landslides in other villages in Itogon, bringing the town's total casualty count to 74, it added. 

Authorities were still searching for 19 missing residents, the disaster office said. 

The search may be suspended if rains threatened to unleash fresh landslides, Presidential Adviser on Political Affairs Francis Tolentino said Saturday.

Rescuers intend to enter the tunnel with oxygen tanks to search for possible survivors.

Some residents sacrificed several pigs on Sunday in a "Pamakan" ritual honoring those who died in the landslides and seeking divine guidance for rescuers. 

All week long, hundreds have been digging through the debris, looking for friends and relatives trapped in the landslides triggered by Ompong, the world's strongest storm so far this year. 

Report from Dennis Datu, ABS-CBN News