A massive landslide buried dozens of homes near a central Philippine mountain Thursday, killing at least 10 people and sending rescuers scrambling to find survivors after some sent cell phone text messages pleading for help.
The avalanche surged down on about 30 houses in two rural villages after daybreak in Naga city in Cebu province, Roderick Gonzales, the city police chief, told The Associated Press by telephone as he helped supervise the search and rescue.
Seven injured villagers were rescued from the huge mound of earth and debris.
Some victims still managed to send text messages after the landslide hit, Gonzales said, adding elderly women and a child were among the dead.
Naga city Mayor Kristine Vanessa Chiong said by telephone that at least 64 people remained missing.
“We’re really hoping we can still recover them alive,” she said.
The landslide hit while several northern Philippine provinces were still dealing with deaths and widespread damage wrought by Typhoon Mangkhut, which pummeled the agricultural region Saturday and left at least 88 people dead and 64 others missing.
A massive search was still underway for dozens of people feared dead after landslides in the gold-mining town of Itogon in the north.
Rescuers were treading carefully in small groups on the unstable ground to avoid further casualties.
“We’re running out of time. The ground in the area is still vibrating. We’re striking a balance between intensifying our rescue efforts and ensuring the safety of our rescuers,” Naga city Councilor Carmelino Cruz said by phone.