'Miracle' Escape: 2 Children Rescued Nearly 60 Hrs After Philippine Landslide

Desk Report

Published: 09 Feb 2024, 05:48 pm

Photo: Collected

Photo: Collected

´╗┐Two children - a three-year-old girl and a two-month-old baby - were rescued by the Philippine Red Cross after nearly 60 hours from a gold-mining village which was hit by a landslide on Friday (Feb 9). 

The children's rescue was hailed as a "miracle" as the searchers had lost all hope of finding anyone alive. 

The girl, whose age was not disclosed, was a part of more than 100 people who went missing after the village was hit by the rain-induced landslide, in which at least 11 people were killed. 

The girl was found as bare hands and shovels were used by the rescuers to find survivors in Masara village on southern Mindanao island, said disaster agency official Edward Macapili of Davao de Oro province, while speaking to AFP.

"It's a miracle," Macapili said, adding that the searchers had felt that the missing people were probably dead. 

"That gives hope to the rescuers. A child's resilience is usually less than that of adults, yet the child survived," he added. 

The officials also shared a video in which the mud-caked child was being carried by the rescuer in his arms on Facebook.

"We can see in the social media posts that the child did not have any visible injuries," said Macapili.

He added that the girl met her father before going to the medical facility for a check-up. 

On Tuesday night (Feb 6), a landslide hit the area and engulfed three buses as well as jeepneys waiting to pick up gold mine workers and also destroyed houses.

At least 11 people were killed in the landslide and 31 others were injured, while more than a hundred have been missing, as per the official figures. 

The searchers were in a race against time as well as weather as they tried to rescue anyone who was alive in the thick mud, as it continued raining on Friday (Feb 9).

Heavy earth-moving equipment was also used by the rescuers in places and they relied on their bare hands as well as shovels to find people in the areas. 

The searchers also used sniffer dogs to detect those who were buried beneath the mud and rubble.

Parts of Mindanao were pounded by rain on and off for weeks and this triggered flooding and dozens of landslides which forced tens of thousands of people to hide in emergency shelters.

Hundreds of families had to evacuate from their homes and shelter in emergency centres in Masara and four nearby villages fearing more landslides.

Meanwhile, classes have been suspended by the schools across the municipality. The area which has been hit by the landslide was declared a "no build zone" after previous landslides took place in 2007 and 2008, said Macapili.

"People were asked to leave that place and they were given a resettlement area, but the people are so hard-headed and they returned," he said._Agencies

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