Typhoon Mangkhut: Miners and families buried by landslide

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A building used as a refuge by miners and their families was crushed by landslides (REUTERS)

Rescuers in the Philippines are digging through mud to retrieve bodies buried by a landslide that hit as Typhoon Mangkhut battered the country.

At least 32 people in the mining town of Itogon, in Benguet province, were crushed in a single shelter.

Teams are raking through the rubble with their bare hands, passing blocks of concrete and pieces of wood down a 50ft line to clear the area.Typhoon Mangkhut is now weakening over southern China.

Four people were killed in the province of Guangdong – three by falling trees.

The storm ploughed across the main Philippine island of Luzon over the weekend. More than 60 people have been killed, mostly in landslides triggered by heavy rains, with the majority in Benguet province.

A group of artisanal goldminers in the village of Ucab, which lies in a valley in Itogon municipality, had huddled with their families in a two-storey shelter, Conrad Navidad of the International Organization for Migration told the BBC. The building was crushed, and 29 people remain missing.

Downtown roads were pictured deluged with water, stranding vehicles (Getty Images)

The Chamber of Mines of the Philippines said mining operators had been told to leave, but that a mine near the shelter had been operating illegally.

The Philippine government on Monday said it was deploying security forces to put a stop to illegal small-scale mining in the vast Cordillera mountain region, a practice which is credited with increasing the likelihood of landslides in communities like Itogon.

Typhoon Mangkhut is one of the most powerful storms to hit the region in decades. It made landfall on the Chinese coast near Jiangmen city on Sunday afternoon.

It is now weakening as it makes its way across southern China and has been downgraded to a tropical storm. More than 2.5 million people have been evacuated in Guangdong and on Hainan island.

In Hong Kong, which was hit hard over the weekend, videos on social media showed apartments swaying in the wind, scaffolding crashing to the ground and commercial buildings with windows shattered.

The heavy winds smashed in windows in some Hong Kong high-rises (REUTERS)

Transport services were suspended, with flights cancelled, trains stopped, and major roads closed. Officials put the number of injured at more than 200.

The city managed to avoid serious casualties but now faces a difficult recovery as thousands remain affected by flooding and travel disruptions. (BBC)

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