A massive landslide set off by Typhoon Mangkhut buried dozens of people who were in a chapel are unlikely to be found alive, said Philippine mayor Victorio Palangdan on Monday, as rescuers continued to dig through mud and debris.
Philippine and Chinese authorities say the death toll from a typhoon Mangkhut has risen to at least 69 with dozens missing.
A former miners’ bunkhouse turned into a chapel in Itogon, that provided shelter to at least 50 people , was crushed by debris. Itogon Mayor Victorio Palangdan said at a news conference that there’s a “99 percent (chance) that they really are all dead”.
Palangdan said rescuers have dug out 11 bodies. Despite warnings dozens of residents sought shelter in the chapel during the storm.
“They laughed at our policemen. They insisted,” he said. “They were resisting when our police tried to pull them away. What can we do?”
Hundreds of rescuers, including police and soldiers, scrambled to search for the missing as grief-stricken relatives waited nearby, many of them quietly praying.
“We will not stop until we recover all the bodies,” Palangdan added.
Mangkhut on Monday was still affecting southern China’s coast and the provinces of Guangdong, Guangxi and Hainan and rain and strong winds were expected to continue through Tuesday.
(Featured image:Daily Star)