MANILA, Philippines – At least six people were killed and more than seven were missing Saturday when a landslide hit a cluster of hillside homes in a southern Philippine village, a local official said.
Jovencio Angera, head of a village council in Maco township in southern Compostela Valley province, said the landslide buried more than 10 houses.
Following three days of continuous rains, the mudslide also hit a motorcycle taxi terminal and a group of people playing cards in the village of Masara.
Angera said he knew at least seven people who were still missing. Other villagers told reporters there could be more than 50 people buried under mud and boulders.
Roger Corales, who escaped unharmed, said he saw people crying for help as they slowly disappeared under the earth, their hands trying desperately to grasp something to hold on to.
Among the dead were a mother and her two children. Their bodies were wrapped in blankets and candles were lit near their heads as they lay on the floor of a village chapel.
A landslide also hit the same village a year ago, killing 10 people.
Following last year's incident, the Bureau of Mines and Geosciences recommended that the area be vacated because it was prone to landslides, but the people refused to be relocated, Provincial Gov. Arturo Uy said.
"It's very unfortunate," he said.