Asia-Pacific

Dozens missing after Philippine landslide

Soldiers carry a survivor on a stretcher in Kingking village, southern Philippines, on 22 April 2011
Image caption At least 10 people were rescued alive from the rubble of the landslide

At least three people have been killed and 21 more are missing after a landslide struck homes and destroyed mining tunnels in the Philippines.

Mud and rocks buried miners' houses in the remote village in Compostela Valley province on the southern island of Mindanao.

The landslide also caused the collapse of access tunnels used by small-scale miners to extract gold.

Rescue teams, troops and helicopters have been sent to the village.

The landslide struck the village at about 0300 (1900 GMT Thursday). Local officials said three bodies had been found and 10 people pulled alive from the rubble.

"There are at least 21 still unaccounted for. We do not know if they are dead or alive. They might have been buried," local mayor Celso Sarenas told AFP news agency.

He said that the figure of 21 was based on a list of people living in the area but said there could also have been transient miners in the area.

He said those living on the slopes of the mountain mine had ignored warnings to leave.

"They are hard-headed. They told me, they would rather die from a landslide than die from hunger," Mr Sarenas said.

The military had earlier said up to 40 people were missing. Military helicopters were on hand to ferry the injured to hospital.

But officials said rescue efforts were being hampered because the landslide had blocked roads.

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