Girl, baby rescued days after landslide killed 15 in Philippines

Manila, Feb 9, (dpa/GNA) – A 3-year-old girl and a 2-month-old baby were rescued from a landslide, that killed 15 people and left more than 100 missing in the southern Philippines, local officials said Friday.

The young survivors were rescued more than two days after a thick mass of soil, rocks and other debris, crashed into a village in Maco town in Davao De Oro province, about 965 kilometres south of Manila.

They were found after rescuers dug through the rubble by hand, said Edward Macapili, a provincial disaster official.

“It’s a big miracle that they are rescued after more than 48 hours,” he said. “It was assumed that at this time, we would not find anyone alive.”

Rescuers have so far recovered 15 bodies from the landslide, while 31 others were injured.

Macapili said 110 people were reported missing as of Thursday, based on accounts of residents who were looking for family members and relatives.

Richard Gordon, president of the Philippine Red Cross, whose volunteers were helping in the emergency operations, said the rescued girl and baby have been brought to hospital for a medical examination.

Gordon thanked the rescuers “for bringing hope amid despair” following the landslide, which buried an undetermined number of houses, two buses and a mini-bus.

Heavy rains caused by the north-east monsoon, and a trough of low pressure have been battering the southern region of Mindanao since late January.

Floods and landslides have left at least 16 dead, and affected more than 812,000 people, including 398,158 forced to flee their homes since January 28, the national disaster agency said.